Financial Help for Cancer Patients is Here

Learn about financial help for cancer patients, life insurance loans, borrowing against your life insurance death benefit, viatical settlements, and many other topics. Life Credit Company thrives on being your resource when it comes to financial help for cancer patients.

How to Avoid Bankruptcy After Cancer

High healthcare expenses are a problem for even the healthiest individuals, but when you introduce a serious medical crisis like cancer, the price tag can skyrocket, financially crippling people around the world. From small payments that add up over time like co-pays to big-ticket bills for procedures such as surgery or ongoing prescription-drug treatments, cancer and bankruptcy are unfortunately becoming synonymous. What is the Average Debt from Cancer? The average debt from cancer is staggering. According to new research published in The American Journal of Medicine, more than 42% of patients spent their entire life savings within the first two years of treatment, an average of $92,098 per person. An overwhelming 62% of patients report some level of debt following treatment, with 55% accruing at least $10,000 in debt. In one study, more than half of patients reported extreme financial complications from cancer treatment, including house repossession and relationship breakdowns, as financial stressors complicate all facets of one’s life. Cancer’s Financial Burden Cancer and bankruptcy are all too common. According to a study published in the Chicago Tribune, cancer patients are more than twice as likely as healthy Americans to declare bankruptcy. In that same research, 16% of patients reported “overwhelming financial distress,” while nearly 40% said they weren’t prepared for the financial burdens their cancer diagnosis brought. A number of factors may be fueling the growing average debt from cancer, such as tightening restrictions on what prescription drugs insurance carriers will cover, rising deductibles and increasingly narrow networks of doctors and hospitals, which prompt some patients to seek better treatment — albeit much more costly — elsewhere. Life... read more

Are There Risks for Cancer After a Transplant?

Patients who undergo an organ transplant are likely eagerly awaiting the day they’re given the good news that their transplant was a success and that they can begin to head down the path toward recovery. However, getting right back to normal isn’t always the best approach, as cancer after transplants is a serious concern that patients and their physicians need to be vigilantly seeking to prevent. Increased Risk for Cancer Cancer in transplant patients is nearly twice as common—and, by some estimates up to 100 times—as the rate of diagnosis in non-transplant patients. While research continues into the reasons, many studies have suggested the link between transplant patients and cancer lies in the immunosuppressive medications transplant patients take to help their body adjust to the transplant. While these regimens are highly successful at preventing the body from rejecting the new organ, they also greatly weaken the immune system, which can leave cells open to cancer infection. Another hypothesis is that immune-suppressed people are at greater risk than others for certain viral infections, which may also play a role in promoting cancer growth. The Risk of Skin Cancer While cancer in transplant patients can span many different types, skin cancer is among the most common, particularly cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, a less common type of skin cancer among the general population. Basal cell carcinoma and melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer, are also seen more often in transplant populations. What Can Be Done to Prevent Cancer After Transplants? First, patients should be educated on the risks of transplants before their surgery; while few would avoid the potentially lifesaving... read more

5 Facts About Kidney Cancer

We know March to be home to holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, but the month is also a time for more serious occasions, such as raising kidney cancer awareness. Although this cancer, also known as renal cell carcinoma, is among the 10 most commonly diagnosed cancers, it’s one that is much lesser-known. That’s why Kidney Cancer Awareness Month seeks to shed light on the risk factors for the disease, as well as the kidney cancer treatments available. Here are five facts to raise your own kidney cancer awareness this March: Men are affected more often than women: One in 48 men is at risk for developing the disease, but just one in 83 women is affected. Age plays a factor: Kidney cancer is extremely uncommon in younger people. The average age of diagnosis is 64, and it’s very rare for someone to be diagnosed under the age of 45. Treatment can be expensive: Kidney cancer treatment most commonly centers on surgical removal of the kidney, also known as a nephrectomy. Without insurance, this procedure may cost anywhere from $15,000 to $75,000 and could be about one-third for a negotiated insurance price. For patients who are not good candidates for surgery, they may opt for drug treatment, a full course of which can cost $60,000-$80,000. New therapies are emerging: Several new oral therapies have recently been developed for kidney cancer treatment, and some have been shown to reduce toxicity and double the length of survival time compared to other therapies. However, these new therapies are more expensive and studies have shown that the higher price tag, coupled with other costs... read more

What is High-Risk Life Insurance

There are a number of factors that go into creating an individualized life insurance policy, including the policyholder’s age, social habits, past medical history, and health risks. An insurance company will weigh all of these aspects to determine if it wants to insure the individual and, if so, at which rate. Most people have no problem being accepted into a plan but others may face challenges because of their histories or lifestyles that means they have to consider high-risk life insurance. So, just what is high-risk life insurance? What is High-Risk Life Insurance? This term refers to a policy assigned to someone deemed a high risk. Several factors can influence this determination, such as whether the person has a dangerous job or hobby, has a history of risky habits or has been diagnosed with a serious illness. For instance, an occupation such as a firefighter may put someone into the high-risk category, as insurance companies evaluate both the rates of death and injury for such an occupation as well as the company’s own history of insuring people who work in this field. A hobby such as skydiving is another activity that could mean the person has to invest in high-risk insurance. Smoking is one of the most common high-risk habits and one that many people attempt to kick before applying for insurance; typically, most insurance companies will offer a lower rate to applicants once they’ve been smoke-free for at least a year. High-risk diseases are those considered the most serious and life-threatening. For instance, asthma or controlled anxiety or depression shouldn’t affect a person’s ability to get insurance, but... read more

Scholarships for Students with Cancer

Cancer can be a financial drain—no matter the age of the patient. When a young person is facing cancer, his or her financial future may especially be impacted, as younger patients are less likely than older people to have savings or to even have insurance. Many young people battling cancer may even decide to change education plans because of fears over finances; however, thankfully, there are many scholarships for students with cancer that can enable them to continue to seek higher education all while getting back on the path to good health. Nearly all college-bound individuals seek financial support, as education costs continue to skyrocket—and, as costs for cancer rise just as quickly, that has paved the way for scholarships for students with cancer. Scholarship eligibility varies, but most require the student to submit medical documentation of a past or current diagnosis, and some may also take income and other factors into account. If you’re looking for scholarships for students with cancer, here are two good places to start: Cancer for College This national organization has provided more than $3.5 million in scholarships to nearly 1,400 cancer survivors, including $500,000 last year alone. It offers one-time scholarships of up to $5,000 to college, community college and graduate students. Applications are accepted Nov. 1-Jan. 31 every year, and students can also opt to apply for 10 specialized scholarships, which focus on certain geographic areas, college majors and schools. National Collegiate Cancer Foundation Every March, NCCF begins accepting applications for two separate scholarship programs, each of which provide $1,000 awards. The Survivor Scholarship Program is for students ages 18-35 who are... read more

Exercising After Cancer Treatment

Common side effects of cancer treatments, such as fatigue, nausea, and dizziness, can sideline patients from their daily activities, such as childcare, work, and household responsibilities. However, one aspect of daily life that isn’t often addressed but is certainly disrupted by cancer treatment is exercise. Whether the patient is an avid runner or simply enjoys a walk through the neighborhood with the dog, activity level significantly decreases during cancer treatments, which can have both physical and mental impacts on the patient. Low-Impact Exercise During Chemotherapy Exercise during chemotherapy and other treatments is possible, but it’s important that patients consult with their physicians before undertaking any exercise regimens. Exercise has been shown to reduce fatigue, but patients should be conscious of the side effects they’ve experienced from their treatments and cautious not to overexert themselves. The best exercise for cancer patients during chemo and other therapies is low-impact, such as short walks—whether they’re around the healthcare facility, in the house or just across the street. Patients should set and celebrate small goals and take their time, remembering that they may eventually return to the same level of exercise they had achieved prior to their diagnosis, but that will take time. Start with a Walk – Exercise After Cancer Treatment Getting back to exercise after cancer treatment is also an incremental process. Again, patients should first consult with their doctors to come up with the most appropriate exercise plan, as it should take into account side effects of medications, past treatments and ongoing risks. Walking is one of the best places to start—a 15-minute walk has been shown to improve energy... read more