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Cancer can have high financial costs

There are a great many different things that can be on a person's mind when they receive a cancer diagnosis. Some of these things include:

  • Is the cancer survivable?
  • What effects will the cancer have on me physically and mentally?
  • What sorts of treatments will I need to undergo?
  • What effects will these treatments have on me?
  • How will the cancer affect me and my family emotionally?

With so much on the mind, one thing that might slip through the cracks when a person is bracing themselves for the effects of cancer is the financial effects of their disease. The bills associated with the medical treatments and care needs for a cancer sufferer can be quite high. Understanding the financial impacts of cancer can be important for cancer sufferers, as it can prevent them from being blindsided by such impacts and give them a chance to properly prepare themselves to address such costs.

In a neighboring state, a university, The University of Chicago, has developed a tool aimed at giving cancer patients a better idea of the financial impacts they will likely face. The tool is a questionnaire which asks 11 questions to a patient. Based on what the patient answers to these questions, the patient is given a score, called the comprehensive score for financial toxicity (referred to in short as COST), aimed at giving a general picture as to what a patient's financial stress risk is and how likely the patient is to be able to cope with such risk. One wonders if this tool will someday become something that doctors regularly use when discussing cancer effects with patients.

When a cancer sufferer here in Michigan gets a picture of what financial costs are associated with their cancer, they may start to worry about these costs, particularly if the cancer and/or its treatments have made it so they can't have employment. It is important for such individuals to know that avenues for financial relief may be available to them. One thing such individuals may want to look into is Social Security Disability benefits. Experienced disability attorneys can give cancer sufferers information on what the eligibility requirements are for such benefits, give them an idea of how likely it is that they qualify for such benefits and help them with the process of applying for such benefits.

Source: Daily Digest News, "New tool predicts financial pain for cancer patients," Kate Halse, June 20, 2014

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