Hidden Costs of Cancer

Posted on:14,Oct'19

Posted by: CancerClinics

Tags: Cancer Treatment


We have discussed in several articles in the past that cancer puts a large financial burden on patients & their families. However, apart from the direct treatment expense, there are several hidden expenses that one never talks about when encountered with cancer.

This article intends to detail certain hidden costs, which add to the already heavy burden of cancer. Sometimes, it is the hidden cost that hits people the hardest when it comes to cancer treatment because it is equivalent to the overall treatment cost.

1. Loss of Income

In India, several households are single income households. So if the income earner has cancer, this indicates a loss of monthly income. This implies that the family has to support the treatment by using their savings.

If unfortunately the individual does not survive treatment, it becomes a permanent loss of income for the family.

Several times, during calls at our helpline, we have been asked if the income earner’s life could be extended until a dependent is in a position to find work.

2. Loss of Funds

83% of India has absolutely no insurance. This implies that the only way most people pay for treatment is by taking a loan. So, by the time the individual recovers, the family is in debt for a very long period of time.

3. Location

Since 60% of the hospitals offering quality cancer treatment is restricted to 6 metro cities, most people travel from their homes & hometowns to access treatment. While surgery calls for a visit restricted to a limited period, chemotherapy & radiation requires regular travel. Sometimes, owing to the nature of treatment, the patient & attender have to stay put in a city different from their hometown for a prolonged period of time.

This travel & stay adds to the financial burden of cancer treatment.

4. Home Care Costs

For cancer, only one-fourth of the treatment is done at the hospital. The bulk of recovery & treatment continues at home. Unlike illnesses such as diabetes or heart attacks, which have a limited period of recovery, cancer requires long-term intensive care.

During this period, expenses include nursing care or a facility where the patient could be admitted. Sometimes, a family member stays at home to support the recovery, thereby once again causing loss of income.

5. Incidentals

Since the period of recovery is long, outfitting the home becomes important. Based on the treatment & the condition of the patient, walking support, hydraulic bed, oxygen tank and other mobility & care devices will be required to be purchased.

Such devices could be a temporary or permanent addition to the household. Either ways, the cost is over & above treatment cost.

Also Read:

Why is Cancer Treatment Expensive?

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