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 or transportation to and from medical appointments, as well as your potentially revamped dietary needs.
Once you understand the financial picture you’re facing, you can turn your attention to your options. Programs like Life Credit’s Living Benefit Loans, which provide loans for cancer patients by allowing them to borrow against their life insurance policy’s death benefit, can connect patients to critical financial resources—quickly and easily. Financial stress has been shown to have a negative effect on patients’ treatment and recovery—so the sooner that cancer patients can reduce their financial burden, the better they will be prepared to fight back against the disease and return to good health.