The Financial Toll of Breast Cancer

The Financial Toll of Breast Cancer

Miami : FL : USA | Oct 26, 2012 at 8:35 AM PDT
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Debbie Cantwell of Bellevue knows the financial woes, among other hardships, that come with breast cancer. In an interview with CNN, Cantwell discussed what it is like to deal with chemotherapy, mastectomy and the fear of what might happen to her family without her. Cantwell is a breast cancer survivor who began a non-profit group, The Pink Daisy Project, to help women under the age of 45, who are diagnosed with breast cancer, handle the needs and financial concerns associated with the disease.One in eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer each year. One in 36 women dies from breast cancer each year. While these numbers are dwindling thanks to avid awareness, education and prevention programs, the odds of getting breast cancer are still staggering. In her interview with CNN, Cantwell discussed the financial help needed for women with breast cancer and why it is so important to think ahead, “…we live in a society that hasn’t taken [young women with breast cancer] into consideration. There are existing services to assist seniors who are ill. But there aren’t a lot of options for young moms who are otherwise healthy. Our young women are struggling with the financial burden of breast cancer while also trying to care for her family. Once, I had a woman on the phone crying because of the guilt she felt taking money from the family’s food budget to pay for her anti-nausea meds. No one should have to make that choice.” Although it is often difficult to consider the sad possibility, you want to protect your family and you need financial support when dealing with breast cancer. A survey conducted by the American Cancer Society (ACS) found that many families have to struggle with cancer and bankruptcy because they were unaware of all the costs that must be incurred. Follow these tips for coping with the financial burden of breast cancer to avoid dealing with these dual hardships.

  • Know the facts. In the survey conducted by ACS, 50 percent of cancer patients do not know the limits of their health plans each year, among other pertinent information. Contact your insurance provider and ask these questions:
  1. What coverage do I have for medications and breast cancer treatments?
  2. What are the co-pays and deductibles associate with a breast cancer diagnosis?
  3. Do I need a referral for specialists and certain treatments or tests?
  4. Is alternative therapy covered under my plan – such as cosmetic surgery or fitting for prosthetic breasts?
  5. Are there limits on how much I will have to pay out-of-pocket or how much the insurance company will pay out each year?
  • Consult with your medical team. You may not feel comfortable discussing your finances with your doctor or care team, but they are all aware of the financial burdens of cancer. Talk to the hospital social work or, even your doctor, about options to minimize costs.
  • Research your options. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention offer care programs for low-income women through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Contact the American Cancer Society center in your area for details on programs like this that can help you with treatment and cost options.
  • Contact a financial planner. A financial planner can make you aware of basic financial strategies for cancer patients and even some most people aren’t aware of. A financial planner may also be able to help you find ways to cover your costs at a lower interest rate than using credit cards. In some cases, breast cancer treatment costs may qualify you for a penalty-free, early withdrawal from your life insurance policy, or you may be able to deduct costs from your taxes.

And, having a life insurance policy is important for protecting you and your family from all the possibilities in life. LifeQuote is a trusted institution, staffed by some of the most highly-regarded, objective insurance professionals in the industry today. Contact LifeQuote for advice on life insurance policies when dealing with cancer and how you can revise your plan, or as mentioned above, withdraw early without penalty. Call LifeQuote at 1.800.521.7873 for detailed financial support and advice when coping with cancer.

LifeQuoteInc is based in Miami, Florida, United States of America, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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