July 2018 - Life Credit Company

How to Get Financial Assistance as a Cancer Patient

This is the conclusion of a three-part series called Navigating Cancer Care. Cancer patients have a mountain of decisions to consider: Which doctor to choose? Which therapy is best? How to tell loved ones about the diagnosis? How to pay for treatment? That last question may be the one that most deeply vexes patients, who are faced with the reality that treating cancer can take thousands and thousands of dollars, which most people don’t have at easy disposal. Financial assistance for cancer patients can be a lifesaving option that can connect them to better care, better treatment, and better outcomes. But with all of the other decisions patients have to make, how can they navigate the often-complex world of financial assistance for cancer patients? Education is an important first step toward understanding the options, and ultimately making a smart decision. Cancer centers can connect patients with a financial advisor, who will be able to offer a picture of the different programs that specialize in financial help for cancer patients. However, each patient’s situation is different—based on their financial resources, their treatment costs and other factors—so it’s important to do independent research and be your own advocate. Grants and scholarships exist, yet are often geared toward low-income individuals; however, even those with more savings or earning power often struggle to make ends meet after a cancer diagnosis. Other options include tapping into resources like a life insurance policy. Some patients may consider selling their policy, yet that means that they won’t later have that security for which they may have been saving for years. Another approach is borrowing against life...

Financial Considerations for Cancer Patients

This is the second in a three-part series called Navigating Cancer Care. Among the many effects of cancer—from the physical to the mental to the emotional—the financial impact can be the most unanticipated and misunderstood, yet also the most long-lasting. The costs of cancer can be immense, and that financial burden has the potential to dramatically shape a patient’s care, as well as prognosis. That’s why options like loans for cancer patients and other programs to provide financial assistance for cancer patients can be lifesaving, in more ways than one. For those without considerable financial resources, the costs associated with top doctors, award-winning cancer treatment centers, and the most innovative therapies may make recovery seem hard to reach. However, everyone deserves an equal shot at health, which is why it’s important for those facing a cancer diagnosis to explore their financial situations and come up with a plan to overcome the financial obstacles of cancer. Taking inventory of your own finances is a practical first step to establish a firm understanding of your financial landscape. Then getting a handle on your expected costs can help you put that figure into context. Many cancer treatment centers connect patients with a financial counselor, who can offer advice about options like loans for cancer patients and other innovative cost-saving programs. Remember to not just explore the price tag of chemotherapy or other medical bills but to also consider hidden costs. For instance, does your employer offer a disability option so you can continue receiving your salary, or will you have to contend with lost wages? Take into account added costs for childcare...

Cancer Basics: Understanding the Care Required to Treat Cancer

This is part one of Navigating Cancer Care, a three-part series that will provide cancer treatment basics, including guidance on finding financial assistance for cancer patients. No matter who the patient is, getting the news that you have cancer is a life-changing moment, one that does not come with a roadmap. Few people realistically anticipate ever receiving that diagnosis, so if it does come, most are not only unprepared for what their next steps should be, but also lack an underlying understanding of cancer treatment basics. A measure of awareness about what comes after an initial diagnosis can go a long way toward easing patients’ minds and shedding light on the path forward toward health. So what are some of the cancer treatment basics? Each cancer has to be treated on an individual basis, as the area of the body it is affecting, its level of progression, the person’s age, and many other factors affect a potential treatment plan. In general, however, these are some of the most-common treatment approaches: Surgery: This is often the first line of defense against cancers that have yet to fully metastasize, or spread. There are a range of surgery options, from minor to more invasive, depending on the person’s individual case. Chemotherapy: Perhaps the treatment most publicly associated with cancer, chemotherapy involves the delivery of a drug regimen to attack and kill cancer cells. The therapy is often associated with side effects such as nausea and hair loss, though symptoms vary widely. Radiation Therapy: In this treatment, radiation is used to damage and ultimately kill cancer cells, with the aim of shrinking tumors....