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Cancer’s Heavy Financial Burden

Ten percent of patients skip doctor visits and 20 percent may not fill their prescriptions due to cost, according to a survey of cancer patients.

Many cancer patients can’t afford to see their doctor or take the medications they’ve been prescribed, a new study finds.

And the problem will likely only get worse as the cost of cancer treatments continues to rise, the study authors said.

“You can prescribe the best drug in the world, but if patients can’t afford it and they can’t get it, then it won’t be effective,” said study author Dr. Greg Knight. He is chief fellow with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine’s division of hematology and oncology.

“We saw a significant portion of patients in our study who were stretching their prescriptions or not coming to the doctor’s office,” Knight said in a university news release.

The researchers reviewed survey results from nearly 2,000 patients at the N.C. Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill, N.C. The participants were all 18 and older, and had been diagnosed with cancer at least 90 days earlier.

The results showed that 26 percent of the patients said they had to pay more for medical care than they could afford. Of those patients, 18 percent said they didn’t fill prescriptions for medications and 11.5 percent said they didn’t go to doctors’ visits during the past year due to costs.

Missing a doctor’s appointment or not filling a prescription can be dangerous for cancer patients, the study authors noted.

“Patients with cancer can be on highly regimented therapy that can have significant side effects that need to be closely monitored,” Knight explained.

Read Full Article: Cancer’s Heavy Financial Burden

Read Full Article: Cancer’s Heavy Financial Burden

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