LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A recent survey by BreastCancer.org revealed that nearly half of people with the disease face serious financial burdens.
Not just for the treatment but there’s a price on their personal and professional lives too.
Cancer costs are often unaffordable for many patients.
As the founder of BreastCancer.org, Dr. Marisa Weiss has 20 million clients who depend on the site for information. She knows all too well the financial burden of cancer can be crushing.
“The cost of breast cancer care is so high!” Dr. Weiss expressed. “The costs of the care can be a major side effect of treatment almost like another disease you had breast cancer but now you’ve got this huge debt you have to struggle with.”
The survey asked more than 1,400 people who had cancer in the last decade about out-of-pocket expenses, health insurance coverage, how they managed costs, and how it has impacted their professional life.
Nearly half said their diagnosis and care created a significant or catastrophic burden.
Meanwhile, 37% said the reduced spending on basic necessities like food and housing about 1/3 of people use all or part of their savings to pay for cancer care and 21% said took fewer pills prescribed just to preserve their resources.
Also, 50% of people surveyed felt their breast cancer diagnosis and treatment had a negative effect on their careers.
Experts suggest talking to a boss and being clear about expectations and perhaps even adjusting work hours.
“Can you get other considerations flexible hours working from home and weekend working when you have the energy and ability to do your job,” Dr. Weiss said.
A letter from a doctor can also carry a lot of weight as well, she added.
Dr. Weiss also recommended negotiating with an insurance provider to try and shrink some of the costs with a possible discounted payment plan.
Keeping an eye on billing errors and asking for virtual doctor visits rather than in person can also help out when it comes to making the most of the time you have with family.