Cancer treatment is an expensive prospect – plan your finances to cover the real costs of breast cancer treatment.
With the prevalence of breast cancer today, it can be said that being diagnosed with this dreadful disease is a nightmare most women are afraid of coming face to face with. While any type of cancer is a painful prospect to deal with, breast cancer also brings with it a physical aspect that most women worry about. When you start thinking of what breast cancer is going to cost you, it is most likely that your first thoughts veer toward your survival rate, physical changes in your body, the myriad doctor’s appointments and treatment sessions that you will have to sit through, etc. A couple of the most important factors that do not make it too high on the list of things to worry about if you are diagnosed with breast cancer are what the treatment process is going to cost you financially and how you are going to pay for your breast cancer treatment.
If you are lucky enough to have an insurance plan that covers breast cancer treatment, you may find that your out-of-pocket expenses are fairly manageable, at least for a while. However, the truth is that your insurance will have a cap, and the cost of breast cancer treatment can easily exceed this cap even during the diagnosis stage. For example, to arrive at a breast cancer diagnosis, you will have to go through a multitude of expensive tests such as mammograms, needle biopsies, ultrasounds, and more.
Depending on the results of these tests, your doctor will then prescribe a series of treatment options that may include regular chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, etc. These treatment options are generally prescribed in conjunction or combination with each other. The exact treatment options prescribed for you will depend on the type of cancer you have and what stage it has progressed to. When it comes to surgical treatment of breast cancer, you will also have to factor in payments made toward the surgical team – the surgeons and anesthesiologist, the operating room, the staff, and so on.
Even after surgery and rounds of chemotherapy are completed, you will be taking medications for the pain for a long time to come. Most breast cancer treatment plans also include hormone therapy pills that need to be taken daily for five years or more. All of these are just the immediate medical costs of breast cancer treatment.
From here on, we move to opportunity costs. Whether you are a single mother or a contributor to the household expenses, you will be losing wages because of your breast cancer treatment. Some commercial establishments allow for short-term disability payments or other methods of financial assistance, while most others do not. Furthermore, if you have children, you will also have to shell a certain amount of money to ensure that they are well taken care of, when you cannot handle these duties owing to your illness. Other overhead expenses include the cost of transportation to and fro the hospital. It might sound like a small thing, but the truth is that you will be making that trip to and fro the hospital or treatment center for years to come, and car maintenance and gas costs money.
According to a recent study, it was found that more than 25 percent of breast cancer survivors are actually suffering more financially today than they were 4 years ago at the time of their diagnosis. Also, 12 percent of breast cancer survivors are still reeling under the medical debt that they incurred while trying to pay for their breast cancer treatment. Though your family, friends, and even the society at large may step in to help you during this trying time, the truth is that the real cost of breast cancer treatment is high, and it does take a financial toll on the patient and her family.
The idea behind dishing all of this information is not to scare you or reduce your morale even further. It is just to introduce a practical aspect to your breast cancer treatment plan. Breast cancer is a medical emergency, and as such, it is very important to create a succinct financial plan that will help you tide over the financial aspect of the cost of breast cancer treatment. Here are a few things to help you create a financial plan to cover your treatment expenses.
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