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Cancer Hits Americans in the Wallet, Study Finds

The diagnosis of cancer not only brings an emotional shock, but also has serious repercussions for family finances. Incomes drop 40% in the first two years and stay lower long term.

The average U.S. adult diagnosed with cancer will miss five weeks of work in the first year and see total family income decline by 20 percent, according to a new study.

Those numbers may be even higher for some, as they average the experiences of people with various types and stages of cancer, and those who started out working full-time along with those who were not employed to begin with, the authors explain.

“This is average effects across the entire population and many are retired or stay-at-home parents, so the effect is diluted,” said lead author Anna Zajacova of the University of Wyoming.

“Five weeks is actually a huge blow when this is an average number,” she told Reuters Health by phone.

The researchers used data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics between 1999 and 2009, a nationally representative study involving 8,000 families, or about 17,000 adults, including about 1,000 individuals with a cancer diagnosis.

The researchers found that after a cancer diagnosis, hours worked decreased by about 200 hours, or five full-time weeks.

Read Full Article: Cancer Hits Americans in the Wallet, Study Finds – NBC News

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