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Financial Concerns Impact Mesothelioma Patients’ Quality of Life

mesothelioma treatmentAccording to a study published in the journal Cancer, it is important for physicians treating those who have been diagnosed with cancer to recognize the financial strain that a patient is under. The study suggests that the more a physician responds to the challenges presented by the high cost of care, the more they can improve their overall quality of life. For patients struggling with mesothelioma, the rare and fatal form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, this is a particularly important issue. The various protocols involved in fending off the disease are extremely costly, and though most are able to seek compensation from the asbestos companies that caused their illness, that funding often takes a very long time to get, and this greatly contributes to the family’s financial burden.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy, and was led by co-author Norman Carroll, PhD, who said, “our results suggest that policies and practices that minimize cancer patients’ out-of-pocket costs can improve survivors health-related quality of life and psychological health. Reducing the financial burden of cancer care requires integrated efforts, and the study findings are useful for survivorship care programs, oncologists, payers, pharmaceutical companies, and patients and their family members.”

One of the most important predictor of whether cancer will create a significant financial burden on a family is whether the cancer is a short-survival type, as is the case with mesothelioma. Other predictors include lack of health insurance and being younger at the time of diagnosis.
The key indicators of whether a patient is struggling financially include:

• Having needed to borrow money or go into debt in order to finance care
• Living with stress about not being able to pay large medical bills
• Having made financial sacrifices to be able to pay for care
• Having been unable to pay for regular medical visits

The study found that 7.6 percent of cancer patients had either borrowed money, gone into debt, or declared bankruptcy.

Though the study suggests that physicians can assist patients by recommending less costly treatments, for those facing mesothelioma there are few options available. The disease is notoriously difficult to treat, and only a few protocols have proven effective – and they are costly.

If you or someone you love is struggling financially as a result of a mesothelioma diagnosis, then the attorneys at Danziger & De Llano can help. We can assist you in identifying the source of your asbestos exposure and pursue those responsible for compensation for your medical care, your pain and suffering, and your family’s future financial security. Call us today for a free consultation.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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