Breast Cancer Treatment Costs Vary Wildly, Study Finds

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Breast Cancer Treatment Costs Vary Wildly, Study Finds

There are wide variations in the costs to treat breast cancer.

It should have been a no-brainer — a routine test to confirm that a 50-something teacher was now, officially, a breast cancer survivor. But the patient balked.

The surprise encounter got Dr. Sharon Giordano curious and she embarked on a study that has found that the cost of cancer treatment varies wildly, with no apparent rhyme or reason.

The variation adds up to $1 billion a year that insurance companies, patients and government health plans are needlessly paying to treat breast cancer, Giordano and colleagues at the MD Anderson Cancer Center report on Monday in the journal Cancer. Patients often get stuck with thousands of dollars in bills that can take years to pay off.

“One of the reasons I started on this project is I had a patient with triple-negative breast cancer,” Giordano told NBC News.

“She was just finishing her five-year follow-up after treatment and was transitioning into survivorship. We talked about ordering an additional test. She was reluctant to get it.”

Why would anyone want to skip a test that could put her in the clear?

“She shared with me that she was still on a payment plan, still trying to pay off the debt from her breast cancer treatment five years earlier,” Giordano said.

Read Full Article: Breast Cancer Treatment Costs Vary Wildly, Study Finds – NBC News

Read Full Article: Breast Cancer Treatment Costs Vary Wildly, Study Finds – NBC News

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