“Because bills and debt can add up quickly, people may want to seek financial assistance soon after being diagnosed with cancer.”
Every aspect of the costs of multiple myeloma survival and care have changed since I was diagnosed with MM in early 1994 except one.
The financial toxicity caused by a diagnosis of multiple myeloma. I titled this post “multiple myeloma survival” specifically because the high cost of MM can kill or bankrupt MM survivors.
It is a mistake to put off addressing the costs of MM for even one day. I’m not saying this to scare you. I’m encouraging you to not ignore the financial side of your cancer only because I did ignore the costs of my MM care and boy did I pay dearly for my ignorance/procrastination.
The good news is that there are a host of non-profit organizations who’s mission it is to help you. Help you get organized, help you pay, help you with financial assistance so you can be a multiple myeloma survivor.
Please click the link below to begin the process. Good luck.
Hang in there,
- MM Survivor
- MM Cancer Coach
- Director PeopleBeatingCancer
“Patients with multiple myeloma may be vulnerable to financial toxicity, even those with health insurance and those who make more than $100,000 a year, due to the higher use of novel therapeutics and extended duration of myeloma treatment.
According to this study published in the Lancet Haematology (2015; doi:10.1016/S2352-3026(15)00151-9), nearly half of the 100 patients surveyed tapped into their savings to pay for their care, and 17% reported delays in treatment due to costs. Ten patients had stopped treatment altogether.
A relatively new term, financial toxicity is described as the burden of out-of-pocket costs experienced by patients that can affect their wellbeing and become an adverse event of treatment. Past studies suggest patients frequently employ coping mechanisms to help defray out-of-pocket costs, some of which compromise treatment adherence. It may also have a negative impact on quality of life; some reports suggest it may contribute to increased mortality…
Costs of newly approved blood cancer therapeutics have also increased 10-fold in the past 15 years, with many agents cost $10,000 or more per month…
Of the 100 patients from the Abramson Cancer Center who took part in the study,
- 59% labeled multiple myeloma treatment costs as higher than expected, and
- 70% indicated at least minor financial burden.
- A total of 36% reported applying for financial assistance, including 18% of patients who reported incomes of more than $100,000.
Use of savings was common (43%), 21% borrowed money to pay for medications, and 17% reported delays in treatments due to costs.
More than half had to reduce their hours at work or quit since their diagnosis. Ten patients stopped treatment altogether due to the high costs.
Surprisingly, the study included patients with demographic characteristics likely to protect against financial burden. All participants were insured, and all patients with Medicare fee-for-service coverage had additional supplemental insurance to assist with out-of-pocket costs. They also had a median household income and education level higher than the national average.
The median age was 64 years and 53% were female. The median annual household income was reported between $60,000 and $79,999; 70% reported having some college education….”
“The financial costs associated with cancer are often overwhelming. Even having health insurance doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to afford treatment. It’s best to start researching your options before a financial crisis develops. This fact sheet lists various sources of financial assistance available to people with cancer. Check with each agency or organization to see if you qualify for help…”
“The cost of medical treatment is among the many concerns you may have if you, a friend, or family member has been diagnosed with cancer. Because bills and debt can add up quickly, people may want to seek financial help soon after being diagnosed with cancer. Oncology social workers, case managers, doctors, and oncology nurses can help or provide referrals to support services and financial resources. Although coping with daily financial responsibilities may sometimes seem overwhelming, it is important not to let bills pile up and go unpaid. Learn more about organizing your finances.
Finding financial support resources
In addition to information from social workers and other health care providers, there are a number of national and local service organizations that help people with cancer who are facing financial challenges. Contact these organizations directly to learn more about their specific programs and services, including eligibility criteria.”
I live in California, my spouse has survived myeloma, and she is suffering from the medical effects of the disease, which is VERY COSTLY. I need to get fifnancial assistance and advice on how to proceed.Reply