Although you can’t escape the costs of being treated for cancer, you can educate yourself about the expenses associated with it. It may help to know that many resources are available to help defray them. Focusing on your health is most important, but preparing for the financial part of cancer treatment early may alleviate stress.
The most obvious costs are medical expenses, such as medical office visits, tests and treatments. Depending on your insurance coverage, many of these may be fully or partially covered. Contact the financial team at your doctor’s office to help you understand what your insurance policy will cover and the out-of-pocket expenses that will be your responsibility. The financial team may also have access to or be able to refer you to programs that offer certain medications at reduced costs.
You may incur additional lifestyle expenses such as the following:
- Caregiving for yourself, your child or your parent
- Supportive care items
- Wigs, prosthetics, etc.
- Travel and lodging
- Legal assistance
If you can, set aside money to ensure you can take part in special activities that bring you joy. That may include taking family vacations, pampering yourself at the spa or keeping up with your hobbies. Although you must consider that your income may be reduced if you have to reduce your work schedule or face other financial difficulties, it is important to find ways to enjoy your life.
Along with exploring the resources in this guide, reach out to your social worker, patient advocate or patient navigator at your medical facility. They can refer you to local organizations, advocacy groups and other resources that may help. Do not feel embarrassed to talk with them about your financial situation. They expect you to, and they are skilled at guiding you to reputable sources for answers and assistance.