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Financial Toxicity of Cancer

April  30,  2015 in

couple-facing-cancer-in-the-hospitalStudies are showing that financial toxicity may lower quality of life in #cancer patients. It’s important to know and understand what financial options you have to help you during challenging times when diagnosed with an illness.

As reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, the research indicates that financial burdens are prevalent among cancer survivors and those financial burdens affects their perceived quality of care.

Financial Toxicity of Cancer

  • The researchers found that overall 482 patients (48%) reported difficulties living on their household income.
  • Most patients were very pleased with their care and 396 patients (41%) believed their health care to be “excellent” while 334 patients (35%) reported “very good care”.
  • However, the study also showed that a high financial burden was a prevalent problem and was associated with lower household income, younger age, and poorer quality of life.
  • Studies suggest that approximately 50% of all Medicare beneficiaries with cancer spend at least 10% of their income on out of pocket expenses related to cancer care.
  • Part of the problem is that many patients are too embarrassed to even mention financial strains and some worry that simply discussing strained finances could result in a lower quality of care.
  • The findings from this study suggest that oncologists need to integrate into their treatment discussions and decision-making the individual financial burden for each patient.
What are your thoughts?  Comment below.

Do you have a serious illness? What’s the financial impact your illness has had on your life? Comment below to share your story and/or concerns about the financial impact of the medical treatments you are receiving.

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