As the American Cancer Society reports, there were 1.7 million new cases of cancer in 2017 more than 15 million Americans are living today with a cancer history.
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.
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.