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Cost of Cancer can Harm Quality of Life

Posted 3/24/2016

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  This is not likely new information for any of us. We have often discussed the expenses of cancer: deductibles, high co-pays, gas, parking, medications, complementary treatments that are not covered by insurance, more take out food, more childcare, other household expenses--and often reduced income. A few lucky people can continue to pull their regular salaries, but most have unpaid time off and/or run out of sick time or do have disability pay that is less money.

  What is new and less often recognized is the potential very long-lasting impact of these expenses and their impact on quality of life. Whether that means that worry about money is distressing or whether it means that real changes have to be made to a family's budget, the negative impact is there. And it appears that the negative impact extends to all parts of a life: worry about recurrence, marital and family happiness, job satisfaction.

  This is a summary from Reuters about a study that has been published in Cancer:

Financial burden of cancer can harm quality of life

Reuters Health) – Almost a third of U.S. cancer survivors face financial burdens, and physical and mental health tends to be worse for those who do, according to a new study. 

There are more than 14 million cancer survivors in the U.S., the authors wrote in a paper released by the journal Cancer. 

“We found that cancer survivors with three or more financial problems had clinically meaningful differences in their physical and mental health-related quality of life and were two to three times more likely to report depressed mood and six to eight times more likely to worry about cancer recurrence,” lead author Hrishikesh P. Kale of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond told Reuters Health by email.


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