The Financial Implications of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a disease that doesn’t just affect a person’s health. There are long-term financial implications for many breast cancer patients and breast cancer survivors. These implications cause stress, anxiety and can lead to relationship problems too.
Recent studies agreed with Be Uplifted Inc has been saying for years:
- Breast cancer patients face enormous financial disadvantage
- Breast cancer is unique in that complex treatment regimes are aggressive and ongoing
- The stress of not just a breast cancer diagnosis, but also the stress of financial burden placed on breast cancer patients, is higher for breast cancer
- The burden placed on breast cancer patients is magnified by an inability to work and cover the escalating costs of treatment
Let’s look closer at the recent cancer studies.
The recent study by the BCNA confirmed the worrying financial impact of a breast cancer diagnosis on women and their families.
This study found that out-of-pocket costs women face following a breast cancer diagnosis can average $17,200.
Even worse, those with private health insurance face higher costs of treatment than for women without insurance. One-quarter of privately insured women reported out-of-pocket costs greater than $21,000.
And it is not just the BCNA study that has highlighted the alarming expenses that breast cancer patients must find a way to pay.
Also recently, Brisbane’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute was able to obtain rarely available data from both the Queensland Cancer Registry and Medicare.
They used this detailed information to confirm the unsatisfactory financial plight of breast cancer patients.
The QIMR study reviewed both medical bills and out-of-pocket costs and confirmed that the massive costs associated with breast cancer.
The study confirmed that the median cost incurred by a breast cancer patient is about $21,581.
More worrisome, breast cancer patients must deal with the most expensive out-of-pocket costs, with the median out-of-pocket costs of $4192 for breast cancer patients.
Why the disparity in costs for breast cancer?
Brisbane’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute confirmed the complexities of breast cancer treatment mean mulitple ongoing treatments and services, which are usually complex and costly.
As a result, as many breast cancer patients and breast cancer survivors will tell you, working becomes difficult or impossible. Particularly if there are unexpected complications to deal with.
Even with a treatment plan that is completed as intended, a breast cancer patient can expect ongoing costs for:
- long-term physical therapies
- perhaps follow up surgeries.
As a result of a breast cancer diagnosis, many breast cancer patients also require long-term medical care or therapies for issues such as:
- emotional support or mental health issues
- chronic pain
- early onset of menopause and hormone replacement therapy
- bone and joint problems
- sexual health issues
Dealing with these long-term costs, along with the added stress of the unexpected debt of the original cancer treatment, can be daunting. It is important to get support and know you are not alone.
Why Be Uplifted Inc is Important
Be Uplifted Inc is a local, nonprofit organization that is focused on helping breast cancer patients and survivors get the best support they need during their breast cancer journey.
We understand that the costs of breast cancer lead to financial and social disadvantage and our Brisbane charity is dedicated to supporting men, women and their families on a breast cancer journey in both practical and financial ways.
If you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, have a chat with one of our volunteers.
The advantages of talking to the friendly volunteers at Be Uplifted Inc is that a majority have been through breast cancer treatment themselves, and most are still living with cancer.
They appreciate firsthand the costs involved in breast cancer treatment and have some great tips for helping you save money during your breast cancer treatment. Our support services may also be able to help you with some of your costs.
Contact us to see how we can help you during your breast cancer journey.