A recent national survey in the United States, found that the financial burden of cancer treatment leads many patients to make potentially harmful medical care and lifestyle tradeoffs in order to pay for treatment. The survey was presented ahead of the Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium in Boston this week:
According to the American Cancer Society, 13% of cancer patients struggle with high out-of-pocket costs and about 20% spend their life savings on paying for treatment. This study is the first to explore sociodemographic factors associated with how patients cope with those pressures.
In a related study presented during the symposium, researchers reported that many cancer survivors experience financial or work-related hardship years after treatment. In the survey of 1,600 cancer survivors, 27% reported at least one financial problem, such as debt or bankruptcy, while 37% reported changing work plans, such as taking extended time off or delaying retirement.
Infographic: How UK health spending compares to other OECD countries (including the USA)
Photo: Fledgling Superb Blue Wren; that tail is a fraction of what it will be soon.