The financial burden of cancer may be significantly shaping how the disease is affecting Americans, on both individual and societal levels, according to recent research.
Nearly one-third of cancer patients are suffering from the financial effects of cancer, a report in the journal Cancer found. The study reported that those who were bearing a financial burden had lower physical- and mental-health outcomes than cancer patients who were financially stable. The financially strapped patients were at an increased risk for depressed mood and for anxiety related to potential cancer recurrence than their counterparts. Overall, the study found that the financial burden of cancer significantly affected patients’ quality of life.
The study was on par with other recent research. According to the Washington Post, cancer patients are more likely to declare bankruptcy than those without the disease. Worse still, those patients who do declare bankruptcy are more likely to die from the illness than cancer patients with a better financial prognosis.
What can be done to combat these frightening statistics?
The problem is a multi-pronged one, as costs add up for cancer patients on many fronts, from treatments to prescription drugs to lifestyle factors, such as reduced working hours or increased need for childcare. That’s why an individualized approach to reducing the financial burden of cancer can be helpful.
One option is using one’s life insurance policy, such as through Life Credit’s Living Benefit Loan program. Through this effort, patients can borrow against their life insurance policy for any number of needs—to buy their medications, to pay for life-saving treatments, or to settle bills that added up because of lost wages. Reducing the financial effects of cancer can go a long way, as the studies illustrate. Stress and anxiety are linked to poor physical outcomes; patients who are focused on their financial burdens have another obstacle in their way to getting back on the path to recovery. Life Credit seeks to remove that barrier and set up patients for financial—and, in turn, physical and mental-health—success.