Cancer News

Why do cancer survivors spend MORE for health care than those without the disease?

Surviving cancer is a triumph, there’s no question about it. However, conquering the disease doesn’t make it a distant memory for many patients. On top of constant fears of recurrence and lifelong checkups, the financial burden for many adds a tremendous amount of insult to injury. In addition to the costs of treatment, cancer survivors are paying more for healthcare than people who have never had the illness.

We’re not just talking about a slight increase, either. An analysis carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that cancer survivors and patients spend almost 40 percent more on out-of-pocket doctor and medication expenses than those without cancer. Moreover, younger cancer patients are dealing with higher bills than older patients, which indicates cancer is becoming a more expensive disease to treat.

When it comes to specific figures, the CDC reports that cancer survivors in America pay $1,000 on average per year in out-of-pocket medical expenses versus just $622 per year for those without the disease. They reached their conclusions after examining the data of more than 123,000 individuals aged 18 to 64.

Not surprisingly, more than a third of cancer survivors said that they felt a “psychological hardship” over their medical bills, while a fourth struggled or even failed to pay their bills.

The costs of the drugs used to treat cancer can vary widely depending on the type in question, but a person with skin cancer could need around $5,000 in drugs, while those with brain cancer could rack up $108,000 in bills during their first year of treatment. The monthly cost per therapy has more than doubled in the last 10 years to reach $10,000, while new therapeutic agents can cost more than $60,000 per month!

That’s not even taking into account the indirect medical costs of their treatment, such as the need to see specialists like cardiologists to deal with all the negative effects of chemotherapy. For cancer survivors, out-of-pocket medical expenses are twice as likely to use up more than 20 percent of their family income than they are to eat up the same percentage of money from the family income of someone with no history of cancer.

This leads many suffers to end up accumulating high amounts of debt, running out of savings and even filing for bankruptcy in some cases. Cancer sufferers have bankruptcy rates that are 2.5 times greater than people without the illness.

Cancer rates – and profits – are only going to grow in the coming years

Unfortunately, as we douse our planet with carcinogens like glyphosate and PFOE, even more people are expected to develop cancer within the next decade, which means more expenses – and more pharmaceutical profits to be made.

It’s not just environmental toxins that are behind the rise in cancer, of course. The ugly truth is that many modern cancer treatments actually contribute to the spread of the illness.

In a study that was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine that Big Pharma has made sure doesn’t get a lot of publicity, chemotherapy was found to raise the number of cancer cells circulating within the body and the lungs in particular. Not only did chemotherapy drugs create new cancers, but they also spread them to other parts of the body that in many cases were deadlier.

In that sense, chemotherapy is actually a pretty good business approach as it ensures repeat customers for the Big Pharma profit machine, while people with the disease suffer physically, emotionally and financially.

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