The cost of cancer care can be high. There may be expenses that you hadn't planned for during your care. Financial costs can be a burden for people with cancer today, and these costs may affect the medical decisions that you and your doctor make.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is working with oncologists across the country to increase doctor-patient communication on this crucial topic. ASCO is the world's leading professional organization representing doctors who care for people with cancer.
If you are a person with cancer, understanding what costs to expect before starting treatment can help you manage the financial impact of cancer in the most effective way possible. ASCO created this guide to help you talk with your health care team about coping with the costs of cancer care. The guide includes tools and resources to assist you in financial planning before, during, and after treatment.
Whether you have private health insurance, government insurance (such as Medicare or Medicaid), or no insurance, it is important for you to talk openly with your health care team soon after diagnosis about the costs of your care. This may include medical costs -- such as the price of a specific drug -- as well as additional costs -- such as transportation costs to and from the cancer center -- that could make getting the best cancer care more difficult.
Out-of-pocket expenses can quickly add up and affect your family budget. These costs are also the reason some people don't follow or complete their cancer treatment plan. However, not following your treatment plan for any reason could put your health at risk and lead to even higher health care costs in the future.
Your health care team can help you identify costs related to your treatment options, suggest ways to help reduce or manage medical and associated costs, and refer you to support services that address the financial difficulties many people with cancer face.
Learn more about understanding the different costs related to cancer care .
Last Updated: March 28, 2012