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Survey: Cancer Treatment Costs Add Stress

aoswPaying for treatment adds significant stress to the lives of cancer patients and their caregivers, even those with health insurance, according to a survey from the Association of Oncology Social Work.

The association surveyed 169 patients and 131 caregivers. Almost all had insurance yet 40 percent said treatment costs are causing a serious financial burden, according to a Philadelphia Business Today article. Another 11 percent said their finances are “catastrophic,” with some having to skip doctor appointments or not fill prescriptions to budget. 

“It’s important to get the message out that things are getting worse for cancer patients, as they are for most people dealing with health care crises, and we need a lot more support for people going through these times in their lives,” said Mary Ann Burg, a  member of the National Association of Social Workers and research director for AOSW.

To read more about NASW’s position on health care click here. And to learn how social workers help cancer patients visit NASW’s “Help Starts Here” Understanding Cancer Web page.

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  1. I’m very glad to see that the Association of Onclogy Social Work, its Research Director and Philadelphia Business Today are bringing this to greater public attention. It needs to be.
    Having to miss doctor’s appointments and not filling prescriptions to budget, because of finances described as catastrophic by 11% of the respondents, will of course, exacerbate the cancers of these individuals. I can only hope that President Obama’s signed healthcare plan
    will exclude these occurrences once implemented. Further, even with all treatment being
    received, having a major stressor in one’s life such as the serious financial burden of healthcare, is the LAST thing that cancer patients need in their lives. The stresses on their minds need to be MINIMIZED, so their body’s ability to combat their cancer is MAXIMIZED.

    E. A. Wahrburg, MSW, LCSW (NC, NY)

  2. Muito bom, sou Assistente Social recen formada e fiquei muito feliz em encontra-los. Obrigada pela seriedade,responsabilidade e riqueza cultural deste site. Parabens!!!!

    (Translation: “Very good! I recently became a social worker, and I was very happy to find this. Thank you for the seriousness, professionalism, and cultural richness of this site. Congratulations!!!”)

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