The burden of cancer on public finances is a serious concern for policy makers. More people are developing cancer, and as standards of care have risen, more are surviving and requiring longer-term care. Precision medicine promises better outcomes but demands commensurately higher payments for care. As both incidence and per case costs rise, we suggest that the task of expanding access to high-quality cancer care poses a “value challenge” that policies in many countries are inadequate to meet. Policy makers should respond with a new approach. We explore questions that policy makers will need to consider regarding objectives, barriers, and levers for policy development. We use transparency and accountability as cornerstones of a new approach to promote value-based decision making. Although barriers to advancing this agenda are formidable, we recommend that governments define common standards for value-based accounting; serve as information brokers for evidence development; pioneer value-based procurement of goods and services; engage in deliberative democracy in cancer care; and educate communities to facilitate knowledge sharing between communities of patients, their caretakers, and researchers.