24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Financial Issues
Basic Information
CalculatorsMoney in Life ContextMoney ManagementManaging DebtInsurance & Financial Risk ManagementHousingAutomobilesInvestmentsRetirementEstate PlanningTaxesLatest News
Many Cancer Patients Face Mounting Bills Despite Having InsuranceMonths After New Rule, More Than Half of U.S. Hospitals Still Don't Disclose Prices OnlineBiden Pledges to Lower Prescription Drug Prices for AmericansAlmost 13 Million Americans Per Year Skip Meds Due to CostWorkers' Share of Annual Premium for Employer Health Plans Nears $6,000Financial Stress Burdens More Than Half of New U.S. Moms: StudyCancer Costs U.S. Patients $21 Billion a YearOut-of-Pocket Medical Bills for COVID-19 May Average $3,800 in 2021: Study18 Million Americans Can't Pay for Needed MedsParents of Hospitalized Kids Need More Info on Costs: StudyHealth Savings Accounts Used Least by People Who Need Them Most: PollAverage COVID Hospitalization Is 150 Times More Expensive Than VaccinationAmericans' COVID Medical Bills Are Set to RiseLong COVID, Big Bills: Grim Legacy of Even Short Hospital StaysHow Did New 'Surprise Medical Bill' Laws Affect Your State?Many Hit Hard by Pandemic Now Swamped by Medical DebtWealth & Health: How Big Financial Changes Affect Your Heart$10,000: What New Parents Might Pay for Childbirth, Even With InsuranceWhy a COVID Diagnosis Could Cost You Way More Money in 2021Average COVID Hospital Bill for U.S. Seniors Nearly $22,000Out-of-Pocket Costs Delay Cancer Follow-Up Care, Even for the InsuredFor the Poor, Even a Small Medical Bill Can Trigger Coverage LossJob Losses Hit Americans Hard in Pandemic, Report ConfirmsMedical Bill Worries Tied to Worse Outcomes for Cancer Patients: StudyOpioid Use (and Overuse) for Knee Arthritis Takes Big Financial TollBig Paychecks Pay Off in Self-Confidence, Study FindsPandemic Unemployment Benefits Helped Keep Millions of Americans From Going Hungry
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Cancer Costs U.S. Patients $21 Billion a Year

HealthDay News
Updated: Oct 26th 2021

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Oct. 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- American cancer patients spent more than $21 billion on their care in 2019, a new report shows.

That $21.09 billion included out-of-pocket costs of $16.22 billion and patient time costs of $4.87 billion. Patient time costs are the value of the time patients spend traveling for, waiting for and receiving care.

"As the costs of cancer treatment continue to rise, greater attention to addressing patient medical financial hardship, including difficulty paying medical bills, high levels of financial distress, and delaying care or forgoing care altogether because of cost, is warranted," said Karen Knudsen, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society.

There was substantial variation in out-of-pocket costs, reflecting differences in treatment intensity and duration, as well as survival. Out-of-pocket costs were highest for breast ($3.14 billion), prostate ($2.26 billion), colon ($1.46 billion) and lung ($1.35 billion) cancers, reflecting higher rates of these cancers.

The report authors noted that it focused on direct costs to patients. The total overall costs of cancer care and lost productivity in the United States are much larger.

Among adults 65 and older with Medicare coverage, average annual out-of-pocket costs for medical services and prescription drugs were highest in the initial phase of care (first 12 months after diagnosis) — $2,200 and $243, respectively — and the end-of-life phase (12 months before death) — $3,823 and $448, respectively.

Patients originally diagnosed with localized cancer had lower average annual out-of-pocket costs for medical services during initial and end-of-life phases of care than those with more advanced cancer, according to Part 2 of the latest Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer. Part 1 was released in July and focused on national cancer statistics.

The new paper was published Oct. 26 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. It is a collaboration of the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

"These findings can help inform efforts to minimize the patient economic burden of cancer, and specific estimates may be useful in studies of the cost-effectiveness of interventions related to cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship care," Knudsen said in a news release from the groups.

NCI director Dr. Norman Sharpless said in this modern era of cancer research it's important to think about treatment costs and how they impact patients.

"As exciting and promising as cancer research is, we are keenly aware of the issue of financial toxicity for these patients," Sharpless said.

"Therapies that are highly effective are no doubt good news, but if they are unaffordable it is not the total kind of progress we would like to see," Sharpless added. "Finding ways to ensure that not just some, but all, patients get access to therapies that are beneficial to them is an important goal we must continue to strive for in the cancer community. This report will help guide us toward achieving that goal."

More information

The American Cancer Society offers advice on managing the costs of cancer treatment.

SOURCES: American Cancer Society; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. National Cancer Institute; North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, news release, Oct. 26, 2021