A cancer diagnosis is a call to action. All attention is laser-focused on what steps need to be taken to restore health, eliminate the disease, wage the battle. Unfortunately, all too often the high level of concentration on getting better – and specifically on eradicating the malignancy – can mean losing sight of the fact that the journey can be costly in ways that include and go far beyond the financial.
Individuals who have been through this themselves, as well as those who have made a career out of providing support to those diagnosed with cancer, often discuss the seven qualities of life that must be should be into account when making decisions about cancer treatment.
Unfortunately, outside of the return of physical well being, these other factors are rarely discussed at the outset. It is only later, when treatment decisions begin to have an impact on all other aspects of life, that people realize that the choices they’ve made in a panic may end up having unanticipated negative effects.
The truth is that cancer and many of the protocols used to treat it creates profound changes in the way that life is lived – and though some are resolute in adapting to their “new normal”, others have expressed regret at not having received counseling that would have enabled them to foresee the impact of their choices and at the very least prepare themselves, and in some cases, opt out.
These discussions do take place in the treatment of certain cancers, most notably those few that are widely acknowledged as being incurable. In instances of malignant mesothelioma, physicians often take the time to talk to their patients about the advantages and disadvantages of either curative or palliative approaches in light of the extremely short survival rates that they face, and perhaps those who treat patients with other types of cancer should consider the same approach.
Cancer patients need to be aware that pursuing an aggressive course of treatment has its drawbacks and that life after cancer is unlikely to be what it was beforehand. Cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy, radiation, and even particularly invasive surgeries are often faced with a number of unwelcome side effects, including:
The issue of quality of life for cancer patients is an important one that is not discussed openly enough. Author and physician Atul Gawande’s bestselling book, “Being Mortal”, looks long and hard at this issue from both the physician’s perspective and that of a family member of a person being treated for cancer, telling the story of watching his own father struggle with cancer treatment decisions and their impact on his quality of life. Gawande’s book discusses how the many advances of modern medicine have put patients into the position of receiving treatments that may improve their disease but deplete their enjoyment of life, and argues that quality of life after cancer is the truer goal. Those who have family members who have been diagnosed with cancer and patients themselves, as well as those providing treatment, may find reading the book and others like it useful, as it introduces a topic that is often difficult to discuss, yet crucially important.
Taking a loan from your life insurance policy to cover cancer costs can help alleviate the financial stress in your life so you can focus on important things like your care, spending time with family and friends, and living life to the fullest. With a cancer loan from your life insurance policy, it provides the following benefits to you:
Relieve financial stress with the Funds For Living Program, a viatical alternative that uses your life insurance for a cash advance