Although nearly four out of ten stage III colon cancer patients had serious financial problems during treatment, treatment related expenses were particularly hard on patients under fifty. After taking all factors into account, young patients were more than fifty times times more likely to experience financial hardship than patients over 75. Treatment costs drove them to:
- be in debt
- have to borrow money from family or friends
- sell or refinance their homes
- experience a more than 20 percent drop in income
Financial difficulties sometimes led to stopping treatment early despite the fact that nearly all patients had insurance. 5.4 percent skipped treatments and 7.2 percent refused treatment altogether because of financial problems. Young patients were nearly nine times more likely to skip or refuse treatments.
Patients with incomes under $30,000 were six times more likely not to get recommended treatment. Not being able to work because of disability, leave of absence or employment also raised risk of not getting treatment. Read the rest of this entry »