Patients with mantle-cell lymphoma may have substantial out-of-pocket costs associated with their treatment. In addition, they may encounter unplanned expenses related to their care or may face the loss of income if they are unable to work. As a result, finances can become a source of stress and anxiety. Sometimes, treatment-related costs may even prevent patients from completing cancer treatment.
Some patients may be reluctant to discuss the cost of cancer treatments with their doctors, even if they are having a difficult time paying for them. But they are not alone. Financial challenges can affect anyone who is facing a life-threatening disease, not only people without health insurance or those with low incomes.
Therefore, it is important for patients to identify the potential medical and nonmedical costs associated with their treatment. Creating a financial plan can help to reduce unnecessary stress, allowing patients to focus on their health and well-being. Each person’s costs will depend on several factors, including the type, length, and location of treatment as well as their health insurance coverage (primary and/or supplemental).
Some costs are more obvious than others, such as those related to medications and doctor visits. However, patients also must consider the hidden costs of cancer, which may include:
- Expenses associated with transportation to and from the clinic or hospital, such as gas, tolls, parking, and taxi, bus, or train fares. Some patients may need to be treated in cancer centers far from their homes, which means that they need to factor in the cost of airfare and lodging
- Family and living expenses, such as those related to childcare, elder care, counseling, caregiving, at-home care, long-term care, and help with household tasks like cleaning
- Patients and/or caregivers may also need professional help with employment, legal, or financial issues, such as coping with the loss of wages, learning about employment rights under the law, and preparing income taxes to account for medical expenses.
If patients need professional help in planning for cancer treatment, members of their healthcare team, including oncology financial counselors, social workers, case managers, nurses, nurse navigators, and doctors, may be able to provide referrals to support services and financial resources.