Cancer is a rapidly progressing disease that can happen in almost any part or organ of your body, with lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, skin, and stomach cancer as the most common ones. It has no cure and has a high mortality rate, making it one of the most expensive illnesses to treat.
Fortunately, when you invest in health care early or buy health insurance, your cancer treatment costs may become significantly slower. These health insurance cards or policies are honored in major hospitals and franchises of health care clinics and treatment centers.
However, on the topic of bringing costs down, it’s a well-established fact that treating cancer isn’t cheap. How much does cancer treatment cost? Let’s find out.
The Costs of Cancer Treatment
The total out-of-pocket costs for cancer treatment can be challenging to estimate since it depends on several factors, including insurance coverage, type of cancer the patient has recommended treatment, frequency of treatment, and expenses related to the cancer center.
It’s impossible to have an accurate estimation of costs for cancer treatment of all malignancies. However, generally, brain cancers are the ones that cost the most to treat, which averages around $108,000 in the first year for women and $115,000 for men. In comparison, other cancers such as melanoma, a type of skin cancer, can cost an average of $5,000 for women and over $5,400 for men in its initial year of diagnosis.
Keep in mind that these figures include the total costs of treatment, including chemotherapy, doctor appointments, clinical visits, X-rays or MRIs, radiation treatments, and home care, not just the drugs needed for treating cancer.
The cost of drugs for cancer varies depending on your condition, but it ranges from as little as $100 per month to over $65,000 a month for more severe cancer cases and newer medications.
How to Manage Costs for Cancer Treatment
Treating cancer can be costly even with health insurance, leaving many patients wondering how to cut or manage expensive treatments.
Here’s how you can manage your costs for cancer treatment.
- Know What to Expect — If you or a loved one got recently diagnosed with cancer, it pays to know what the costs might be beforehand to help you prepare for treatment. You can do this by asking your doctor about your different treatment options and how you can cut costs on some.
- Understand Health Insurance — If you already have health insurance, call your insurer, ask about your benefits and see which ones cover cancer treatment or ask them if you can add other coverage for it.
- Go Generic — When your doctor prescribes you with medicine as part of your treatment, make sure you ask them if you can take the generic version on a name-brand medication as these tend to cost less but still have the same effect.
- Discount Drug Programs — These are programs that some insurers provide to their clients, so if you have a health insurance company, ask them about it. Pharmacies also offer this, so it’s best if you check with your local pharmacies too.
Cancer can take a toll on a patient’s health, emotions, time, relationships, and finances because of uncertainty and expensive medical bills. However, when it comes to costs, finding the right insurer and asking your doctor for alternatives can make a huge difference between healing happily or worry about getting in debt.