Pennsylvania is home to some of the world’s most prestigious medical facilities, including several of the nation’s leading cancer research institutions. Though the proximity to state-of-the-art treatment and cutting edge technology means that people who have cancer are diagnosed more quickly and provided with a wide range of options, it also means that they are faced with some of the highest medical bills in the country.
As more and more Americans are being provided with cutting edge care that provides them with longer survival and encouraging rates of remission, the bad news is that costs continue to skyrocket. Zhiyuan Zhen, PhD. is a senior health services researcher with the American Cancer Society, and after crunching the numbers he has found that the three most common forms of cancer that have high survival rates are also responsible for about thirty percent of all cancer-related health care costs. Cancer patients who are diagnosed with any of those three – prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer — not only face high bills, but they also have higher risk of secondary cancers, which means that even after their treatments are over, they need to continue incurring expenses for follow-up care and additional screenings.
The Costs of Cancer in Pennsylvania
The costs of having cancer can be astounding. One year of breast cancer treatments costs about $20,000, while prostate cancer costs $10,000 and colorectal cancer can cost $30,000. It is enough to quickly deplete a family’s savings and force them to make difficult decisions and sacrifices. Cancer patients in Pennsylvania are not only fortunate to have so many medical options available, but they also have a number of helpful financial resources available to them. These include:
Financial Help for Cancer Patients in Philadelphia
Hosts for Hospitals
About Hosts for Hospitals: Provides free lodging and support at volunteer host homes for patients and their families who come to the greater Philadelphia area for specialized medical care.
Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund
About Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund: Provides financial assistance (through payments to creditors or donation of goods) to families in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware who have a chronically ill child.
Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation
About Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation: Provides an information and support line, free mammograms and a patient emergency fund to breast cancer patients in the greater Philadelphia and Pocono regions. Funds cover non-medical expenses such as rent and utilities.
Fifth Season Financial
About Fifth Season Financial: Fifth Season Financial offer the Funds for Living Program, a financial assistance resource that helps relieve the financial burden experienced by many late-stage cancer patients. Fifth Season’s program provides funds to people living with cancer or any other serious illness by using their life insurance policy as collateral. The funds you receive have NO RESTRICTIONS. You choose how you want to spend your money. Pay bills, take a vacation, or give a gift to someone you love. It’s your choice! The Funds For Living Program has provided over $115 million in funds to hundreds of families. Learn more: www.fifthseasonfinancial.
The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition
About The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition: CFAC is a group of national organizations that provide financial help to those diagnosed with cancer.
About Greg’s Mission: Greg’s Mission is a nonprofit that provides support, HOPE, education, current resources and awareness to patients suffering from brain tumors – especially Glioblastoma Multiforme (a grade 4 primary brain tumor).
The HealthWell Foundation
About The HealthWell Foundation: HealthWell provides financial assistance to cover copayments, premiums, and deductibles for certain medications and therapies.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
: Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps qualifying patients who lack prescription-drug coverage obtain the medications they need.
About Needy Meds: Needy Meds’ website offers information on companies assisting those who can’t afford medication.
The Patient Access Network Foundation
About The Patient Access Network Foundation: The Patient Access Network Foundation assists patients with out-of-pocket costs associated with their treatment.
Patient Services Inc.
Patient Services, Inc. assists with insurance premiums and copayments for people with chronic diseases.
About RxHope: RxHope helps patients obtain free or low-cost prescription medications.
The Assist Fund
About The Assist Fund: The Assist Fund provides financial support to chronically ill patients with high-cost medications.
The Patient Advocate Foundation
About The Patient Advocate Foundation: The Patient Advocate Foundation provides education, legal counseling, and referrals for people with cancer who need assistance managing insurance, financial, debt crisis, and job-discrimination issues.