Social impact

Although biomarkers do not directly impact all social challenges, the use of biomarkers may improve patient welfare by delivering better health outcomes.

In a culture in which the goal is to “beat” disease, there is little appreciation of the other story lines to cancer—that there may be long-term disability or late effects from the treatments received; key relationships may have been skewed; and the developmental life trajectory of the person with cancer may have been fundamentally altered. Furthermore, the addition of practical problems, such as lack of money, and/or the loss of health insurance, may contribute to worse outcomes for medical treatment, putting the survivor at higher risk for illness, disability, and death.