The Financial Impacts Of Breast Cancer (As Told By 3 Survivors)

Finished 330,000 women. Breast cancer is diagnosed every year. In my single family, my grandmother, great aunt and mother have all fought this evil disease.

And while advances in treatment and early detection have done a marvelous job in increasing the survival rate of breast cancer, the financial burden does not stop at the end of treatment.

Even for women in amnesty, many people have to take a step back in their careers and increase long-term medical expenses such as hormonal therapy and doctor visits یہ all of which affect their ability to save. Are

Financial side effects of breast cancer

One in eight women. They will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. This is one of 833 for men. Pink fund. – A non-profit organization that provides 90 days of non-medical expenses for active treatment of breast cancer patients. Breast cancer patients see a 130% increase in financial difficulties during treatment.

Here are some reasons why:

The cost of treating breast cancer is higher than any other cancer.

Best of all, a woman’s breast cancer gets stuck in its early stages and she has a solid employer-sponsored healthcare plan to help with the bill. Still, it is estimated that she will pay. Out-of-pocket expenses 5,800. For treatment.

And for women who are diagnosed late or have no insurance at all, out-of-pocket costs are astronomically high.

A study. The actual cost of cancer treatment can range from $ 48,477 for stage 0 breast cancer to $ 182,655 for stage IV.. These figures are almost devastating considering. 36% of households. $ 400 You don’t have that much money to pay for an emergency.

Jamie Weinick – A breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed at the age of 36 – told me that once he received a medical bill of 14 14,000 through treatment.

“I was incredibly lucky to get military tracker insurance in the early stages of my treatment. However, six months later, after chemo, surgery and 10 rounds of radiation, I received a bill of $ 14,000.

She explained that when her husband’s military assignment ended, she lost her tracker insurance – and her radiology oncologist did not accept her new insurance. She was receiving radiation daily and could not stop the moderate treatment.

“I brought the bill to the tear specialist’s office. The woman in charge of billing contacted the insurance company, confirming that it was not approved. After several moments of panic, the doctor was able to register it as an important treatment with the insurance company, which stated that they were unable to transfer me to another facility.

The only way to file for bail was to get insurance to cover Jamie’s bill. Otherwise, he would have to stop treatment or find a way to pay 14 14,000 himself.

But once the treatment is over, the costs don’t stop there. They keep increasing;

People who survive breast cancer have to take hormone therapy for 5 to 10 years after treatment to reduce their chances of recurrence. And depending on what category the drug falls into, it can be quite expensive. As Jamie puts it:

“My hormone medication costs بعد 700 after insurance – a recurring bill that I receive every three months, a total of $ 28,000 over ten years. Although I had the resources to cover it. Still, it felt unfair. I didn’t even want medicine. In fact, I hated it.

Women also face higher costs if they are diagnosed with lymphedema – a common side effect found in women who have to have their lymph nodes removed. One study found that women with lymphedema are more likely to suffer. 122% higher monthly expenses. ($ 355 vs. $ 160) Compared to breast cancer survivors without lymphedema.

For many women, their careers are never the same after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

On average, breast cancer survivors lose. At least مزید 1,000 more In annual income due to working days and employment disability compared to people without a history of cancer.

Survivors between 20 and 30 iv lose their jobs altogether. 37 At least one career change. Christine Sager. Here is an example.

Christine was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago at the age of 36. She was at the forefront of her career and was making more money than ever before. But after her diagnosis, she was forced to focus on her priorities and find a low-pressure job. She also realized how fragile life is and wanted a more standard time with her husband and two young daughters.

“Every career move I’ve made. [after my treatment] One step down and back. Eventually, within four years, I was working part-time when my daughters were in school, but I was losing 75 75,000 a year compared to the assessment time.

BRCA gene mutations make it even more expensive.

While most women have a 13% chance of getting breast cancer In their lifetime, with women with the BRCA1 gene 55 ٪ to 72 People with the BRCA2 gene have a 45 to 69 percent chance of developing cancer. They also have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Managing this type of diagnosis can be quite expensive, as you can imagine. Monica Monfrey Scantleybury. Was kind enough to share my experience with me:

“This assessment has affected my long-term goals, especially since the assessment of BRCA1 means that I need precautionary care, a pre-existing condition, and that life insurance It’s too expensive for me. “

Monica told me about her sister, who also had a BRCA1 gene mutation and died of breast cancer in March 2020.

My sister was 27 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was the mother of four children under the age of 10. When she was diagnosed, she tried to continue working, but she was very ill. There were so many bills, so many hospital visits, and he had to drive everywhere. None of this was cheap.

Because Monica’s sister also had BRCA1, her children may also have genetic mutations.

Diagnosis of breast cancer has the most difficult financial impact on black women.

Black women are disproportionately more stressed when they are diagnosed with breast cancer. According to a long walk Carolina Breast Cancer Study., 59% of black women say their diagnosis of breast cancer has had a negative effect on their finances – compared to only 40% of white women.

Black women were two to four times more likely to be referred. All five One of these gestures (not just one) as a reason for their financial stress:

  • Decrease in income.
  • Financial barriers to maintenance.
  • Transportation barriers.
  • Unemployment as a result of cancer diagnosis and treatment.
  • Loss of insurance as a result of losing a job after being diagnosed with cancer.

Of Payment difference There is a hint of this. Black women are already earning 64 0.64 for every $ 1 a white man does. And in married heads of households, Black households have the largest share of women-led households (52.5%).. This type of financial distress forces many black women to delay or end treatment in order to earn a living.

Read more: 9 Strategies to Limit Gender Pay Gap

Financial resources for breast cancer survivors and their families

Even if you have good. Health insuranceDiagnosing breast cancer can wipe out your savings if you have to take time off work or front load costs for childcare, transportation, co-payments, deductions, and more.

Here are some financial resources you can turn to. I ranked them based on their type of help. You can find even more resources. Susan G. Common’s website.

For personal expenses.

First and foremost, talk to your hospital’s financial advisor about whether you are eligible for any local, state or federal funding programs. They will know your situation better.

Pink fund. Is a non-profit organization that provides 90 days of non-medical expenses to active breast cancer patients. You must show a loss of working income, be actively treated, and have a household income of 500 500 or less above the federal poverty level to be eligible.

Common Treatment Assistance Program. There is another to see. You get $ 500 if you have stage IV cancer and $ 300 if you have stage 0 to III. To be eligible, your household income must be 300 percent or less of the federal poverty line. (You can. See the FPL chart on their website. For exact limits).

For accommodation and transportation costs.

The American Cancer Society has some great resources for families. Their Hope Lodge. Provides accommodation during cancer treatment. Their The path to the rehabilitation program. Provides local transport for treatment and from there.

For child and adult care costs.

If you have children or older family members who trust you, first check to see if you have any friends or family members who are willing to help. (Most want to help you but don’t know how – just ask!)

You can also check. Cancer Care. They provide financial support for the care of children and the elderly during treatment. Of Common Treatment Assistance Program. Also does.

For prescription drugs.

There are many organizations out there that will help you meet the cost of prescription drugs. Of Breast Cancer Coupe Assistance Program. Helps with co-payments. Of Common Treatment Assistance Program. Will provide some financial support for medicines. Medical aid tool. org There is a free drug program for low-income families.

One last piece of advice.

Jamie had this last piece of advice with women undergoing breast cancer treatment:

“Advocate for yourself in any situation – whether it’s working with providers to reduce your bills or working with your employer to review sick leave policies.”

She encourages women to find patient navigators and support groups:

“I became very involved with it. Here for the girls. – A group that helps young women with breast cancer. They helped me take care of the children when I needed treatment and took me to surgery when my family got the flu. They connected me too. Camp Casem. – A free week-long summer camp for children whose parents have cancer. Now this is my daughter’s favorite week of the year.


I would like to personally thank Jamie, Christine and Monica for how their diagnosis of breast cancer affected them financially.

If you or someone you love is battling breast cancer, I hope their stories inspire you to stay strong and fight. You are not alone in this war. An army of your friends, family members, and online strangers is ready to help you.

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