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Jun 16

Managing Finances and Cancer Treatments

Reading Time: 3 mins

Most individuals face the dilemma of managing their finances while also battling their disease. This is obviously very stressful for individuals who have to deal with an unexpected life incident like a cancer diagnosis. Patients often have to think about how they would manage their finances and still make sure that they are getting the appropriate treatment for their illness.

Cancer patients have a lot on their plates. They have to deal with various types of costs from the time they are diagnosed. They have to undergo and pay for tests and treatments. Depending on the cancer type, patients often have long term treatment procedures that last from months to years. Some cancers would require patients to undergo chemotherapy before undergoing surgery and other further chemotherapy sessions.

Aside from this dilemma, patients also have to deal with costs associated with transportation, accommodation, and other expenses such as child care. For others, they may have to give up work, which means loss of income, not only for the patient but also for the partner who might end up becoming the patient’s primary caregiver.


Loss of Income

Some patients diagnosed with cancer have to give up their jobs, especially if the cause of the malignancy is work-related like in malignant mesothelioma, which often results from constant exposure to asbestos. For others, they can keep working, albeit in a limited capacity. Either way, it means that they often give up a considerable part of their income. For your protection, it would also be wise to check if your company has included income protection insurance in your coverage.

For the self-employed, cancer diagnosis means having to find additional sources of income.


Managing Your Finances While Undergoing Cancer Treatments

The impact of a cancer diagnosis varies from person to person. The type of cancer would also have an effect. For example, a patient diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer would need to undergo fewer chemotherapy sessions and surgeries than someone diagnosed with stage 3, where the patient would have to undergo radiation therapy before the operation and another round of chemotherapy sessions after the surgery.

Another factor that can impact the financial burden of the cancer diagnosis is the patient’s financial status before the diagnosis. Those who have savings would still have a buffer to spend on the treatment. But for those who are already financially struggling, the cancer diagnosis can be a life sentence.

In some cases, patients are able to negotiate with their doctors to reduce treatment costs. If you are lucky, your attending doctor will see you as a charity patient, or they can refer you to a welfare officer who can advise you on your other options. In some cases, you can make a claim if your cancer is work-related. Law firms such as, work with patients to ensure that they get the compensation they deserve.

The best way to make sure that your funds last to see your fight to the very end is to manage your finances accordingly. Think of ideas for how you can purchase your medicines at the lowest cost possible. It would also be best to look for ways to reduce the possibility of dealing with creditors because you don’t want to worsen your financial situation. If you are working with a personal injury lawyer, they can defer payments for medical treatment on your behalf.

If you have a partner, you can sort it out and lay down the budget that you have so that it does not cause a strain in your relationship. If possible, you can ask a family member to take turns looking after you so your partner doesn’t have to give up work days.

Health emergencies can come at a time when we least expect it. The best way of managing your finances is to make sure you have enough savings even before you get sick.



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