As the American Cancer Society reports, in 2020 there will be 1.8 million new cases of cancer and more than 17 million Americans living with a cancer history.
High Costs of Cancer Care in the US
Cancer is an expensive disease. Even if you have insurance, you may have trouble meeting the financial obligations of care. Consider the following:
- The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality compiled a comprehensive report on the cost of cancer care. In 2014, cancer patients paid nearly $4 billion out-of-pocket for treatments. Additionally, this study also found that cancer treatments represent a great portion (about $88 billion dollars) of total US health care spending.
- Another study by researchers with the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium found that financial hardship—including problems paying for housing, food, or medical care, was evident in almost half of cancer survivors one year after their diagnosis.
- Financial hardship related to a cancer diagnosis can lead to patients experiencing a lower quality of life, increased pain and greater symptom burden. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26991528
- Some cancer patients delay or even avoid necessary care and medications due to financial burden.
- In a 2012 Survey of cancer survivors, one-third reported they went into debt as a direct result of their diagnosis. And 55% of those owed at least $10,000.
Cancer is a disease that not only takes a toll on patients physically, but also emotionally and financially. The cost of cancer treatment can place a huge burden for patients and their families. However, help is available. Free national programs exist to help cancer patients and families in the USA to offset the high cost of cancer care. Cancer Care News is a nonprofit that maintains a directory of over 350 such programs all available at zero cost. Please reach out and get the help you need today.
Free Financial Help for Cancer Patients
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and find yourself unable to keep up with the associated expenses, you are most definitely not alone. There is help available, however, and it’s at no cost to you. Please see our link here for free financial help for cancer patients for programs that can help you pay for treatment not covered by insurance, prescriptions, and household expenses.