Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 10 million deaths in 2020. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these figures are expected to nearly double by 2040. When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, their life is altered in a variety of ways. Cancer causes financial hardship for patients and their families in addition to the unfamiliar physical changes, the hurricane of overwhelming emotions, and the decreased morale. In addition to the stress of a cancer diagnosis, patients are concerned about their financial situation. Financial hardship has been shown in studies to significantly increase the rates of depression in cancer survivors.
“Financial hardship caused by cancer care is far more common than we had previously thought, and having health insurance does not seem to protect patients from financial hardship,” said study leader Veena Shankaran, M.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
This is undeniably true, as some cancer patients face financial difficulties for a variety of reasons. Patients understandably want access to the best cancer treatment available; however, these treatments can be costly, particularly in private clinics. While cost should never be an impediment to receiving cancer treatment, there are some people who are unable to pay their medical bills and are burdened by high medical costs.
This financial burden can have a negative impact on patients’ emotional and physical health. Unfortunately, when a patient faces financial difficulties, there is a risk that they will not take their prescribed medications or undergo necessary treatment, such as chemotherapy, because they cannot afford it. An additional financial hardship is that cancer patients, particularly those in advanced stages, frequently find themselves unable to pursue their daily routine, which includes going to work. As a result, patients may miss work or be forced to quit their job, leaving them without a source of income. This is a significant issue because it results in a loss of income, making it difficult for them and their families to cover the costs of basic household necessities such as food, housing, and utilities.
How To Manage Your Finance During Cancer?
Subscribe To A Health Insurance
It is highly recommended for any individual to subscribe to health insurance at an early age. This is a significant financial benefit when you are sick because it helps to pay for medical emergencies, hospitalization, the contraction of any illnesses and treatment, and future medical care. Life is extremely unpredictable, and we never know what will occur in the future. Having medical insurance is an important step in avoiding financial hardship if you are diagnosed with cancer. Having adequate health insurance is also the most effective way to reduce financial burden after a cancer diagnosis.
Seek help with cancer-related costs from organizations
There are private and public organizations that help cancer patients by sponsoring their treatment. There are also organizations who help needy people by providing food among others. If cancer affects your financial situation hardly, do not hesitate to seek help from those organizations in view of having some financial assistance. If your condition prevents you from working, check with governmental institutions who possibly provide a financial assistance to patients who cannot work due to severe illness.
Accept the help of your friend or family
If you’re in financial trouble and a friend or family member offers to assist you, don’t be too quick to say no. While you are battling cancer, your loved ones may feel compelled to assist you. Accept their help if they propose to assist you with some cancer-related costs or some of your bills, especially if you are having difficulty getting your bills paid or having access to proper cancer treatment.
Manage your budget
It is much easier said than done, especially when dealing with a disease like cancer. The first step in managing your finances is to thoroughly assess your situation. A budget can help you see how much money you have, how much money you spend, and how much money you need to cover your expenses. Once you’ve completed that step, you’ll have a better idea of how much money you disposed of and the sacrifices required. You can save money by prioritizing home-cooked meals over fast food, for example.
There are, thankfully, ways to reduce the financial impact of a cancer diagnosis. Do not be afraid to seek assistance from professionals or your surroundings. Dealing with cancer is already a stressful time; add to that the financial challenges that it brings. Things have changed, and there are now more facilities for cancer patients. Make the most of it and believe in the process.