While a cancer diagnosis of any kind brings with it a wealth of financial worries, not all types of cancer are the same — so the cost of cancer treatment can vary greatly. Costs depend on a number of factors, such as the method of treatment — radiation therapy versus chemotherapy versus surgery, or sometimes a combination of all of these approaches. Costs also impacted by the type of imaging needed, the extent of the medication regimen, length of hospital stays and level of home care required, as well as many other considerations.
Despite many differences, the cost of cancer treatment is often very significant, no matter the type of cancer, which is why it’s important for patients to have an idea of total costs before starting treatment, so they can be prepared and also explore all of the options for financial assistance for cancer patients.
Here are some of the projected costs for treatment of the most common forms of cancer:
- Breast Cancer
NCI predicts women diagnosed with breast cancer will pay a mean of $23,078 in the first year after diagnosis, followed by annual costs of $2,207. If the diagnosis ends up coming within the patient’s last year of life, the cost is a staggering $62,856.
- Prostate Cancer
For men diagnosed with prostate cancer, NCI estimates they will pay $19,710 for the cost of cancer treatment in the initial year, followed by annual costs of $3,201. If it is a late-stage diagnosis and the patient dies that year, the projected cost of care is $62,242.
- Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is among the more costly types of cancer. For women, the projected first-year costs are $60,533, with annual expenses of $8,130. If a diagnosis is within the woman’s last year of life, the expenses are projected to be $92,524. Costs are relatively similar for men: first-year expenses of $60,885, annual costs of $7,591 and, for patients with a late-stage diagnosis, a projection of $95,318.
These are just a few of the many different types of cancer — each which comes with its own unique price tag for treatment. While no two patients will pay exactly the same amount — as each individual’s insurance situation, treatment plan and prognosis will vary — having a realistic expectation for the total cost of cancer treatment can help patients get a handle on their finances now, so they can be prepared in the future.
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