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Off to Africa and Financial Concerns

Posted 10/28/2015

Posted in

  I kind of like today's title although the two topics are not intended to be related. On the first, my husband and I are leaving tonight for Zimbabwe. We will spend a week working at St. Albert's Mission Hospital and will then have a week on safari, in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. As you would expect, internet is spotty at best, and I will not plan to post again until my return on November 16th.

And now to today's real topic: finances and cancer.

  This is an excellent article from Consumer Healthday :

How Cancer Wreaks Havoc on Family Finances
-- A cancer diagnosis exacts an enormous toll on a person's health, and new research says
it can also devastate a patient's ability to continue working and maintain financial stability.
During the years following a new cancer diagnosis, the chances someone will remain gainfully employed drops nearly 10 percent, the study found. The research also revealed that cancer led to a loss of roughly five weeks of paid work. "We've always known that cancer takes a huge financial hit," said study lead author Anna Zajacova, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Wyoming, in Laramie. "But the studies that have looked at this tended to be small, and estimates of how serious the
problem is have been all over the place. "So we looked at the world's best and most precise source on nationally representative economic information," she said. "And what we found is that while some economic outcomes do eventually recover over time, for cancer survivors the loss of their individual earnings drops 30, 35, even 40 percent, and doesn't come back. So the financial fallout is big."
Zajacova and her colleagues discuss their findings in the Oct. 26 online edition of Cancer.
The study investigators reviewed survey responses from about 17,000 men and women between 1999 and 2009, before expansion of health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Of these, more than 1,100 had been diagnosed with cancer after 1990, the study said.
Survey information included employment status, total number of hours worked, total patient income and total family income.
In the first year after diagnosis the total number of hours a cancer patient worked dropped by 200 a year, compared to people without cancer. Three years following a diagnosis, those with cancer also saw their chances of having a job at all drop by 9 percent, the study found.

And here is an excellent source of assistance from Cancer Net

Financial Resources

The cost of medical treatment is among the many concerns you may have if you, a friend, or family member has been diagnosed with cancer.
 bills and debt can add up quickly, people may want to seek financial help soon after being diagnosed with cancer. Oncology social workers, case managers, doctors, and oncology nurses can help or provide referrals to support services and financial resources. Although coping with daily financial responsibilities may sometimes seem overwhelming, it is important not to let bills pile up and go unpaid. Learn
more about organizing your finances.

Finding financial support resources
In addition to information from social workers and other health care providers, there are a number of national and local service organizations that help people with cancer who are facing financial challenges. Contact these organizations directly to learn more about their specific programs and services, including eligibility criteria.


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  • Jordan said:
    11/16/2015 10:24 AM

    Some important things to keep in mind here. Thanks for sharing these points!