A report on the cost of cancer care confirms what many mesothelioma patients already know: Both out-of-pocket and time costs are rising significantly, and the combination of the two creates substantial hardship and adds to the stress and grief they are already feeling.
Mesothelioma Creates Physical, Emotional, and Economic Burden
A mesothelioma diagnosis is tragic on many different levels. The rare form of cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos, and when patients receive their diagnoses they are often given two devastating messages: That their condition is terminal and that it could have been prevented had an asbestos company not been negligent. In addition to a profound physical and emotional impact, their disease can lead to the overwhelming financial burden that most U.S. cancer patients face. This burden is detailed in the just-published Part II of a report co-authored by the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR).
While the first part of the report, which was published in July, described national cancer statistics including those for mesothelioma, the second focuses on the financial hardships related to cancer care. In discussing the $21 billion for care and treatment spent in 2019 alone, researchers detail the increasing financial hardship that patients are experiencing, writing, “”Medical financial hardship is increasingly common, with many cancer survivors reporting difficulty paying medical bills, high levels of financial distress, and delaying care or forgoing care altogether because of cost.”
Innovative Treatment Extends Mesothelioma Survival, But Increases Costs
Malignant mesothelioma patients are benefiting from state-of-the-art treatments like immunotherapy and personalized treatment protocols, but those innovations have increased costs. According to NCI director Dr. Norman Sharpless, “In the modern era of cancer research, we have to think about treatment costs and how they impact our patients. As exciting and promising as cancer research is, we are keenly aware of the issue of financial toxicity for these patients. Therapies that are highly effective are no doubt good news, but if they are unaffordable, it is not the total kind of progress we would like to see.”
Mesothelioma patients experiencing financial hardship may be eligible to receive compensation for their expenses from the companies whose negligence led to their disease. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you need information on the options available to you, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.FREE Mesothelioma Packet