Dealing With the Financial Burden of Cancer


Cancer can create a financial burden. There are effective ways to cope if you ask for help and research the resources that are available.

WhatNexters suggest reading the American Cancer Society’s Guide to Taking Charge of Money Matters. This guide covers a wide range of financial guidelines from how to find financial professionals, financial guidance in and out of treatment, financial guidelines for advanced illness, and coping financially with the loss of a loved one. It also outlines four steps to devise a plan for your finances: estimate your expenses, estimate your sources of income and benefits, manage your savings and investments, and plan your estate.

Financial Burden

Related Article: How to Talk to Your Insurance Company and What to Ask

Additionally, below are some things WhatNexters have done:

Call the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society can help you find resources in your community to help with financial concerns. Call them at 1-800-227-2345 any time, day or night.

Talk With Your Hospital, Social Worker, Doctors and Surgeons

“Check with your hospital financial assistance person. If the hospital is a non-profit they may be of help. Talk openly with your doctors/surgeons. Some may reduce their fee. A big expense is tests/scans and the like. If you get assistance through your hospital be sure to have all testing done there if possible to help reduce costs. If you don't qualify for financial assistance, prepare a letter to your doctors/surgeons and others who provide care to let them know that you will be able to pay X dollars per month on their bill. Even a small payment will show a willingness to pay and perhaps keep the collection agents from the door.” -- lovekitties thumbnail lovekitties, Colorectal Cancer

Reach Out to Your Community

“The community has been helpful to me. They provide food, mowing grass, and some cash, which came in handy for gas to doctor appointments. I also called all my bill companies and told them of my situation and got some of the payments deferred for a few months until I can go back to work.” -- fitzkc thumbnail fitzkc, Breast Cancer, Stage III

Work Schedule Flexibility

“My job allowed me to work my schedule around my chemotherapy treatments. I didn't work during my low immune days or when I was taking anti-nausea medication for a few days after each treatment.” -- copland16 thumbnail copland16, Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, Stage II

If you are looking for more resources that WhatNexters have used, you can visit our Pinboard with a list of cancer resources or gain more personal insights by watching videos from WhatNexters on how they have dealt with their own financial burden. What things did you learn while dealing with the financial burden of cancer? What were the most helpful resources for you? Do you have any suggestions for people who are experiencing this burden for the first time?

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  • 18 Comments
    • ElissaK's Avatar
      ElissaK

      Also, if you haven't already, speak to your hospital oncology social worker. They generally know of other groups that offer financial assistance to cancer patients. They may even help you apply to one.

      over 2 years ago
    • Lav's Avatar
      Lav

      I'm Soo Overwhelmed of where to turn to for financial assistance and I'm fixing to get my disability check soon which is not much at all.

      over 2 years ago
    • Suzebaron's Avatar
      Suzebaron

      Thanks to all of you for the resources listed; I've taken notes.

      over 1 year ago