Going through treatment for and recovering from a disease such as cancer not only takes a toll on the body and mind; it can also put a dent in your finances.
As Next Avenue observes in “The Financial Burden of Breast Cancer,” “…there’s an ongoing financial toll to…long-term diseases that often surprises patients and makes saving for retirement much more challenging.” And these challenges are often even greater for women of color and anyone from a marginalized population.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All of the efforts geared toward educating people and possibly preventing this disease go a long way towards protecting someone’s health as well as their present finances and retirement savings.
We can now detect breast cancer earlier and many more people survive now than in decades past but because treating breast cancer is more expensive than treating other cancers, survivors may face financial hardship. The well insured, the underinsured, and uninsured face an array of expenses. Some patients lose income because they cannot work. There are patients have to decide between regular bills and treatment. Patients without childcare need to pay for that to get treatment. Even visiting a hospital or treatment center for radiation that is covered by insurance can get costly when you factor in gas and parking. Finally, some patients have the expenses of treating other conditions the developed as a result of their cancer treatment.
As an expert interviewed by Next Avenue suggests, “…anyone with a chronic, long-term condition speak with a financial adviser who can assist in developing a plan for managing the long-term costs of an illness.”
Breastcancer.org says, “If you don’t have insurance or are unemployed, paying for treatment may seem overwhelming. Don’t panic, and don’t skip any treatments or doctor’s visits. There are resources available to help you.”
Online financial resources include: