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Diane Mapes - January 2016
Dr.Scott Ramsey recently led a study at the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research (HICOR) to understand the human and economic burden of cancer. Cancer patients are found to, on average, be 2.5 times more likely to declare bankruptcy, which new findings have indicated increase the rate of mortality, as those in bankruptcy are 80% more likely to die from cancer.
This of course can lend some skepticism to the success of many treatments, as Ramsey notes that though one may survive cancer but then finds themselves in debt, their health can be negatively affected. Since the study only looks at the association between bankruptcy and mortality, not exactly what led to the deaths, Ramsey did have a number of theories as to why cancer patients with financial concerns were more vulnerable. To name a few, the physical and emotional stress of strained finances could have a negative impact on health, bankrupt cancer patients may not always receive timely treatment due to inability to pay or pay on time, and of course there are the soaring prices of cancer drugs and the consistently increasing amount for out-of-pocket payments.
Though the news is worrisome, the research being devoted will hopefully shed some light on what can be done to avoid such financial dire straits. Ramsey offers a few tips for relieving some of the stress and burden of financial difficulties during treatment.
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Original source: www.fredhutch.org