US Self-Reported Financial Burden of Cancer

A recent self-reported study was published by Cancer this week titled Self-reported financial burden of cancer care and its effect of physical and mental health-related quality of life among US cancer survivors. 

The study focused on the out-of–pocket spending that Americans with cancer must spend due to their illness. With the increase of spending each year, the investigators were particularly interested how much it caused a financial burden on patients, and the association between financial burden, health-related quality of life, and psychological health.

The results found that approximately 21% of patients found that they worried about paying medical bills, and approximately 29% of people reported having at least one financial problem during this time period. As well, researchers found that people reporting a financial burden on themselves worried more about the recurrence of cancer than others.

It was concluded that cancer survivors with financial problems, have lower physical and mental health-related quality of life. As well, that cancer survivors who reported financial burdens were more likely to be psychologically distressed, and frequently worry about recurrences of their disease.

This study was reported in Medical News Today by author Yvette Braizer who spoke with one of the Co-Authors Dr. Norman Carroll, PhD. He commented saying “that health-related quality of life and psychological health could be improved by policies and practices designed to minimize out-of-pocket costs for patients.” Other Co-Author Dr. Hrishikesh Kale suggests that before selecting treatment for patients doctors need to consider offering a more economically friendly approach. The need for patients to be involved with their treatment is necessary to release the financial burden of American cancer survivors.

ARCC is committed to studying out-of-pocket costs in the Canadian context, and has funded Dr. Christopher Longo to do some of this work. Join us for a webinar presented by Dr. Longo on Thuesday March 31, 2016 @ 1:00pm EST titled “Putting the pieces together: Creating a comprehensive picture of families’ cancer related financial burden”. Email us at for more details.

To read the full article published by Yvette Braizer click here.

Read additional coverage from CBS HERE.

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