Mesothelioma Treatment Toll Goes Beyond Side Effects

Though many assume that the hardest thing about being treated for malignant mesothelioma is the side effects and the fear, when you ask a patient about their experience you are likely to hear a different story. Though these victims of asbestos exposure will no doubt discuss the nausea and hair loss of chemotherapy, the fatigue imposed by surgeries and tests and the bruises and pain of blood draws, the thing that they’re most affected by is often the overwhelming emotional impact of never-ending bills. The costs of fighting a fatal form of cancer are enormous and insurance providers are often uncooperative; red-tape is never ending and out-of-pocket expenses quickly deplete life savings, especially for those who have already retired or who are too sick to continue working. All together it leaves many patients wondering whether pursuing treatment is even worthwhile.

Stress is Relentless

Mesothelioma is an extremely rare form of cancer that has proven resistant to traditional forms of treatment. Though patients may be able to take advantage of clinical trials, those are generally only offered at major teaching hospitals, and that means that those who get accepted into these programs end up spending money to travel to get experimental treatments that they’re not even sure will make a difference. Patients who are already medically fragile find the impact both anxiety provoking and exhausting, and the questions about whether their treatment will end up bankrupting their families end up adding an additional layer of guilt along with the relentless grief and fear.

Cancer Treatment is a National Problem

Those battling mesothelioma are not alone in dealing with staggering medical bills. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine indicated that between 2000 and 2012, 42 percent of cancer patients across the nation depleted their lives’ savings within two years’ time, and medical bills are what drives a high percentage of bankruptcies. In addition to the financial burden itself is the stress of trying to manage it: the red tape can be smothering, and it is hard to make sense of the bills that are being received, especially when also dealing with the emotional drain of a terminal disease.

Fortunately, mesothelioma patients have numerous resources available to help support them through the economic hardship that their illness creates. For information on how the Patient Advocates at can help, contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

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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