• February 19, 2020

Navigating Cancer Costs? Consider These 3 Steps - Odessa American: Money & Finance

e-Edition Subscribe

Navigating Cancer Costs? Consider These 3 Steps

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, November 4, 2019 11:01 pm

(BPT) - The rising cost of cancer care affects virtually every patient undergoing treatment for cancer, including patients who have health insurance. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), a global leader in the fight against cancer, has found that patients experience the financial burden of cancer care for many years following diagnosis, as survivorship typically involves continuous treatment and follow-up care.

Marialanna Lee, VP Public Policy for LLS, oversees the organization’s Cost of Cancer Care Initiative, which urges all of the stakeholders in the healthcare system to work together to bring down the unsustainably high cost of cancer care. LLS’s Office of Public Policy advocates for cancer patients at the federal and state level, to ensure that patients have access to meaningful health insurance coverage so that they can afford the costly treatments necessary to survive a cancer diagnosis. Lee hears firsthand stories from patients about their struggles with the high cost of cancer care.

“Too many cancer patients are forced to make life-or-death treatment decisions based purely on the cost of their care,” says Lee. “When cancer patients are fighting for their life, the last thing they need is financial distress.”

According to Lee, for anyone dealing with cancer, it’s important to consider the following factors when navigating the complexity of accessing treatment and managing the many costs encountered along the way.

Getting a second opinion can have a positive impact on not only your treatment plan, but on your wallet too.

Even if you have health insurance, it can be helpful to gain a second opinion not only to inform the best course of care, but to avoid the potential for side effects and added costs that may arise from treatments not well suited to your needs. To help you investigate the options that may be available to patients and their families, LLS offers emotional, educational and financial support, including co-pay assistance and help finding and enrolling in clinical trials. To learn more, visit www.lls.org/support/financial-support.

To learn more about the challenges patients face and what LLS is doing to drive change, please visit www.lls.org/cancercost.

The financial impact will likely extend to your caregiver and maybe even other family members.

For many patients, caregivers play a crucial role in helping to navigate a life-altering diagnosis like cancer. Along the way, caregivers will likely encounter a range of physical and emotional demands, and the financial cost of caregiving can take a toll as well. Caregivers may be hesitant to seek help for themselves and may be unaware of the many resources available to them. LLS provides free resources and support services for caregivers, including financial assistance.

You can be an advocate for change.

Callan Kreidel, Cancer Survivor & LLS Advocate (Photo courtesy of Kendall Parsons Photography)

Your voice as a patient or caregiver is invaluable, as it can help shape discussions about the cost of care and the importance of access to meaningful health insurance coverage. Whether you act as an individual or part of an effort organized by a patient advocacy organization, you can make an impact by sharing your story about the financial hardships you’ve experienced. These firsthand accounts are vital for spurring action.

To learn more about LLS Advocacy and how you can raise awareness about the cost of cancer care and its impact on patients and families, visit www.lls.org/policy-advocacy.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Cloudy
43°
Humidity: 74%
Winds: ENE at 9mph
Feels Like: 38°

Your Extended Forecast

Tomorrow

weather
High 45°/Low 39°
Cloudy with rain. Lows overnight in the upper 30s.

thursday

weather
High 41°/Low 30°
Windy with morning showers. Highs in the low 40s and lows in the low 30s.

friday

weather
High 48°/Low 37°
Considerable cloudiness. Highs in the upper 40s and lows in the upper 30s.
Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.