The Financial Toxicity of Cancer Treatment
What is financial toxicity?
Financial toxicity is the emotional, mental and physically debilitating — and often life-threatening — financial side effects and burdens induced by cancer treatment.
What impact does the financial toxicity of cancer treatment have?
Financial toxicity can lead to:
- Greater risk of mortality
- Impaired quality of life
- Overall poorer well-being
- Sub-par quality of care
Evidence suggests that a considerably large proportion of cancer patients are impacted by treatment-related financial harm.
– S. Yousuf Zafar, MD, Journal of National Cancer Institute, Volume 108, Issue 5
What are the effects of financial toxicity on those in active cancer treatment?
- 130% increase in financial difficulties for those younger than 65
- 67% increase in financial difficulties for those without insurance
- 42% increase in financial difficulties for minorities
- 37% of individuals make at least one work/career modification due to a cancer diagnosis
- 27% of individuals report at least one financial hardship, including bankruptcy, debt, etc.
Sources: Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 2014 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium, Oncology Journal, Feb. 2013