Though colon cancer is one of the most treatable of cancers when discovered early, if it is not diagnosed before it spreads to the liver, lungs or other organs things become far more challenging. Depending upon your exact circumstances you may be a candidate for a partial colectomy to remove the part of your colon that is involved, surgery to remove cancerous lesions, or if your cancer is farther advanced then the goal may be to relieve a blockage and your symptoms in order to provide you with the best possible quality of life. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be recommended, as well as some innovative targeted drugs that are still in the investigative stages.
Stages of Colon Cancer
The nature of colon cancer means that patients are likely to need extensive support. In addition to doctor’s appointments and the cost of treatment itself, there are other expenses that need to be considered, including medications, in-home nursing care, transportation and travel, and income replacement. In the later stages of the disease hospice care may offer respite for both the cancer patient and their caregivers.
Cancer care is always expensive, but the costs of colorectal cancer consistently rank among the most costly to treat. If you are dealing with colon cancer and are in need of financial assistance, there are a number of organizations that are dedicated specifically to providing this kind of help, as well as much-needed educational information and access to other important resources. The list below is by no means comprehensive – be sure to do some investigating on your own, as many communities have locally-based organizations that are there to help.
Colon Cancer Financial Assistance
Here are some great financial resources for individuals with colon cancer.
American Cancer Society
About American Cancer Society: Provides limited direct assistance for travel expenses to and from treatment, childcare and pain/symptom management medications not covered by insurance.
1-800-813-HOPE (4673) / (212) 712-8080
About CancerCare: Nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to those with cancer, as well as connections with other financial assistance resources. Funding is available for transportation, home care, and child care.
CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation
About CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation: The CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation provides eligible individuals with up to $10,000 per year in co-payment assistance. They currently offer this program to people affected by breast cancer, colon or colorectal cancer, glioblastoma, head and neck cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and renal cell cancer.
Cancer Fund of America, Inc.
(800) 578-5284/(865) 938-5281
About Cancer Fund of America, Inc.: Provides patient assistance programs that provide certain medical supplies to needy patients.
The Chain Fund
About The Chain Fund: TheChainFund.com provides financial assistance to cancer patients in areas such as mortgage, rent, utilities, prescriptions, insurance and special foods needs. Funds are made available to qualified applicants and paid directly to the appropriate vendors.
Chronic Disease Fund, Inc.
About Chronic Disease Fund, Inc.: CDF provides financial assistance to underinsured patients diagnosed with chronic or life-altering disease that requires the use of specialty therapeutics. CDF offers assistance for colorectal cancer, as well as many other types of cancer.
Colon Cancer Alliance
About Colon Cancer Alliance: The Colon Cancer Alliance’s mission is to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers. They are doing this by championing prevention, funding cutting-edge research and providing the highest quality patient support services. In terms of financial support for patients, the organization is committed to helping overcome the barriers to screening and to facing treatment head on. Whether a patient is struggling to pay rent, fill prescriptions or put food on the table, the Cancer Care Alliance’s Blue Hope Financial Assistance helps with bills so they can take care of themselves. For qualifying individuals, Blue Hope Financial Assistance will cover the cost of a screening test or provide a $300 one-time financial stipend to help cover screening and treatment related expenses.
Fifth Season Financial
About Fifth Season Financial: Fifth Season Financial is a financial assistance resource that works to relieve the financial burden experienced by many late-stage cancer patients. A late-stage cancer diagnosis is devastating to an individual living with cancer as well as their family. In addition to physical and emotional trauma, in many cases, late-stage cancers place a severe financial burden on individuals and their families. Overwhelmed with medical and emotional issues, individuals living with cancer should be focusing on their care and their families, not financial stress. Unfortunately for many in this situation, financial stress is a reality and a significant distraction. Fifth Season’s program provides funds to people living with late-stage cancer by using their life insurance policy as collateral. The ultimate goal of the program is to help relieve financial stress so that people living with cancer can focus on what is most important in their lives. In the last five years, Fifth Season has provided financial assistance of more than $40 million to more than 300 people and their families through their lending program. While they have witnessed the financial challenges confronting individuals living with cancer, they have also witnessed the satisfaction of easing this burden. No credit check. No income requirements.
Meredith’s Miracles Colon Cancer Foundation
About Meredith’s Miracles Colon Cancer Foundation: To provide financial support to young adults (under the age of 40) undergoing treatment for colon cancer. We specifically wish to provide relief from living expenses during treatment rather than expenses associated with treatment.