Pancreatic cancer is a disease which cancerous cells form in the tissues of the pancreas. It is considered curable if it’s discovered at an early stage, before it has spread beyond the pancreas, and if surgery can completely remove the tumor. However, 80% of cases, pancreatic cancer is not detected until well after it has spread to other organs. For this reason, pancreatic cancer is considered one of the least survivable cancers. According to the American Cancer Society reports there are only a 20% year survival rate and a 7% five-year survival rate for all stages of pancreatic cancer combined.
Some common symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of the skins and whites of the eyes), pain in the upper or middle abdomen. Additional symptoms include unexplainable weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, and depression.
Typical treatments for pancreatic cancer can include surgery, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, and radiation, and a typical treatment plan will combine one or more of these options. Even when a cure is not possible, these treatments, as well as maintain a healthy diet, can help individuals with pancreatic cancer live longer and maintain their quality of life.
Of course, these treatments can be costly. Even with health insurance, pancreatic cancer treatment can involve copays for doctor visits, laboratory work, and prescription drugs, as well as coinsurance for surgery and other procedures. There’s also the additional financial stress brought on by missed work, transportation and housing costs, and more.
Fortunately, many pancreatic cancer charities and other organizations offer cancer care financial assistance. The list below includes several of these resources, which operate on a national level; be sure to ask your medical care provider about locally-based organizations that can offer further assistance.
CancerCare provides financial assistance for treatment-related costs, including transportation, home care, and child care. It also connects those with cancer with other financial assistance resources through its Helping Hand Online Financial Resource Database.
CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation
CancerCare’s Co-Payment Assistance Foundation provides eligible individuals with up to $10,000 per year in co-payment assistance. Those affected by pancreatic cancer may be eligible, as well as those with breast cancer, colon or colorectal cancer, glioblastoma, head and neck cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and renal cell cancer.
Fifth Season Financial
Through its Funds for Living Program, Fifth Season Financial allows those affected by pancreatic cancer to receive a large cash advance from their life insurance policy while keeping the policy in place and safeguarding funds for beneficiaries to receive in the future. Unlike most pancreatic cancer charities, there are no restrictions on how the funds can be used; individuals may use them for co-pays and treatment-related costs, or to pay other bills, take a vacation, give gifts to loved ones, or anything else.
National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation
The National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation’s financial assistance program offers qualifying individuals affected by pancreatic cancer with helping to pay for living expenses, including housing and utilities.
Relieve financial stress with the Funds For Living Program.