Breast cancer is one of the most common type of cancer in Australia for women, and one of the top causes of death after lung cancer. The cost incurred by patients depends on the stages of breast cancer. An average direct cost of breast cancer is found to be approximately $2,896 per patient per month. The lifetime costs of breast cancer range from $20,000 to $100,000. Individuals may be in need for financial assistance for breast cancer patients to overcome the burden.
Suffering from breast cancer can affect your life in many aspects. Besides the emotional and physical effects, breast cancer often raises practical and financial concerns, and can quickly become a financial burden, more so if you are unemployed or uninsured. While you are dealing with your breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, your normal activities will likely be disrupted and you may have to face new financial concerns. Your experience with breast cancer may also lead you to think about your financial security and practical issues like health insurance, employment and daily commitments.
The benefits of financial assistance for breast cancer patients
There are many financial assistance programs are available for patients with breast cancer offered by government, semi-government, charity/non-profit organizations or fundraising websites. These programs not only assure patients about their physical and emotional wellbeing, but also make them feel relaxed from stress due to high financial liability or medical debt.
1. Freedom from medical debt
The financial assistance will help in overcoming the financial burden of patients with breast cancer. Financial assistance in any form, whether it is a payment of your hospital bills or other bearing the charges of your diagnostic tests, can help you to get relief from large medical bills. Patients can get cancer drugs free of cost or at discounted rate. Counselling from various non-profit organizations can resolve your legal issues such as high billing, medical debt and non-reimbursement.
If you are in medical debt and it is more than you can manage, the mediators from many government or nonprofit organizations can advise you regarding options and community resources available to handle it.
2. No bad credit
If you carry a high credit card balances and bad credit history of late payments, it will affect your credit rating and will hurt your credit score. You can reduce your credit card debt by paying your bills on time to avoid being penalized with the help of financial resources. Communicate with your health care provider and request for financial assistance regarding payment deferment.
3. Freedom from psychological distress
Breast cancer not only affects your physical health, but also triggers a wide range of feelings you’re not used to dealing with. Pressure of high treatment cost, side effects due to treatment and many other factors can challenge your mental health. But, thanks to patient counselling coping with side effects.
Breast cancer drug causes both short-term and long-term side-effects such as hair loss, and you need additional support to help deal with these changes in your life. These include items such as wigs or other head coverings to wear while you wait for your hair to grow back after chemotherapy. Post-mastectomy bra if you’ve had breast reconstruction surgery can also be useful to make you feel more comfortable with the changes. Some cancer support organizations help to provide financial assistance or access to these items at little or no cost.
4. Social and personal life
It is an unfortunate truth that having breast cancer can change your relationship with your spouse, your family and friends. Breast cancer can increase stress and place an emotional strain on not only you but the ones you love. A stress-free life is a key to happy and healthy life.
When you are free from financial burden, you can focus on your family and children, and can enjoy your life as before with them. According to one study named “the impact of a mother’s breast cancer diagnosis on her children”, younger children require more real information and reassurance that “someone will always take care of them” so keeping them informed about your health and physical and financial wellbeing. It makes possible for them to continue their usual schedules and make their adjustment easier.
5. Ongoing medical expenses
There are many other ongoing medical expenses associated with breast cancer care which may involve prescriptions for pain relief, nausea, or other medications or creams for treating the effects of radiation therapy that are not covered by your regional or local health insurance plan. An online medical fundraising can help you to manage with these costs and provides you relief from getting unnecessary burden. This has been proven as an effective option of financial assistance for breast cancer patients.
1.Financial support for breast cancer patients: http://peoplepledge.org/blog/financial-support-for-breast-cancer-patients/
2.Life After Breast Cancer: http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/19/15/3581.full
3.Prescription Drug Assistance: http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/PrescriptionDrugs.html
4.The Financial Burden of Cancer Care: http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/032210p14.shtml