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New CancerCare® Survey Illuminates the Financial Hardship of Cancer

NEW YORK, New York (June 23, 2017) – A cancer diagnosis forever changes the lives of patients and their family members. What many people affected by cancer might not expect, however, is the enormous financial burden associated with cancer and its treatment, and the serious toll these expenses can take on quality of life.

A recent survey conducted by CancerCare® found that 70 percent of patients experienced financial hardship from cancer-related expenses. Patients attributed these difficulties to medical expenses, such as diagnostic tests and scans, as well as non-medical expenses, such as gasoline and food.

“Cancer-related expenses and the lack of information and education regarding out-of-pocket costs can take an enormous toll on patients and their families, both emotionally and financially,” said CancerCare CEO, Patricia Goldsmith. “These latest survey findings make up an important part of CancerCare’s ongoing research to understand patients’ values and priorities, and ensure that they are incorporated into treatment decision making.”

For many, the financial hardship of cancer is exacerbated because patients do not receive information about the costs of care or resources to help them manage these costs. More than two thirds of survey respondents said they did not have costs explained or did not remember having costs explained to them either before or during treatment.

The survey also found that family members often need to alter their employment status to help care for patients, causing a decline in income or a potential loss of insurance coverage. Nearly one-third of patients reported they missed paying bills such as rent, utilities and phone in order to pay for cancer-related expenses.

To better address the financial hardships caused by cancer, patients wanted to know more about organizations that provide financial assistance and/or navigation. They also wanted more information about the costs of treatment before treatment.

Read the full results of the CancerCare Patient Survey on Financial Hardship Associated with Cancer. To learn more about the resources available to cancer patients, visit

About CancerCare®

Founded in 1944, CancerCare is the leading national organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer. Our comprehensive services include counseling and support groups over the phone, online and in-person, educational workshops, publications and financial and co-payment assistance. All CancerCare services are provided by oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts. Headquartered in New York, NY, CancerCare maintains three additional locations in Norwalk, CT, Ridgewood, NJ and Syosset, NY.

To learn more, visit or call 800-813-HOPE (4673).


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