Advanced Cancer Patients Delay Treatment Because Of Cost

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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One in eight advanced cancer patients delayed or avoided recommended treatment because of cost concerns, according to an analysis recently conducted by Thomson Reuters, USA Today reports. The unscientific analysis involved 1,767 patients who responded to an online questionnaire.

The analysis found that 25% of patients with annual incomes of less than $40,000 delayed or avoided recommended treatment. In addition, the analysis found that 12% of advanced colon cancer patients spent more than $25,000 out of pocket for treatment.

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According to Joseph Singer of HealthCore, a health care research company, many of the medical advances that allow cancer patients to live longer have a high cost.

Many health insurers also have begun to require cancer patients to cover a larger share of the cost of their treatment -- as much as 20% in some cases -- Neal Meropol of the Fox Chase Cancer Center said.

As a result, groups that help cancer patients with the cost of their treatment have experienced increased demand. Diane Blum -- executive director of CancerCare, which provides cancer patients with social work and small grants for transportation expenses -- said that requests for help have increased by 30% in the past year (Szabo, USA Today, 10/13).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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