Mesothelioma Patients Struggle With “Financial Toxicity”

If you’ve been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, you probably spend a lot of time discussing medical issues, your prognosis, and the side effects of treatments including chemotherapy and radiation therapy. But has anybody spoken to you about financial toxicity?

Your mesothelioma physician probably hasn’t discussed it, but financial toxicity is something that many mesothelioma patients deal with. It is the impact of rising out-of-pocket costs that patients have to shoulder for their cancer care.

When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, most of the focus is directed towards getting better and prolonging life. Asking what the price tag is seems unimportant in the face of a serious diagnosis – all thoughts are on quality of life, relieving pain, getting as many weeks, months and years as you possibly can.

Once treatment starts and the bills start rolling in, patients find themselves in a state of shock. They’re suddenly faced with the reality that they are simply unable to pay their medical bills.

Though mesothelioma treatments are becoming more and more effective and more patients are able to extend their survival time and quality of life, those advances have come at a cost.

Cancer drugs are incredibly expensive, and so is the cost of treatment and long-term care. Even when family members elect to become caregivers, that often means sacrificing income upon which the family previously relied, making paying bills even more challenging.

The unfortunate outcome of increasing financial toxicity is that more and more mesothelioma patients are opting out of treatment in order to preserve their family’s finances. This is not at all necessary. By having frank conversations with physicians and hospital financial departments, it is possible to find a plan that achieves the patient’s goals without creating financial hardship.

If you are struggling with paying your bills in the face of a mesothelioma diagnosis, the Patient Advocates at can point you to a variety of resources.

Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608 to learn more.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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