Cost of treatment leaves cancer patients in debt

Cancer patients are ending up in debt because they have to cover the costs of treatment as well as other care related expenses, no rx researchers report at the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress in Singapore.

Previous studies have demonstrated that cancer patients face financial difficulties even in countries where the national public health system covers most of the expense. The economic hardship experienced by patients and survivors is often referred to as the “financial toxicity” of cancer. Research presented at ESMO Asia 2016 shows new aspects of the burden of cancer care on patients.

A study from Malaysia has found that more than half of cancer survivors spend at least a third of their yearly household income on treatment, drug as well as on costs such as transport to hospital and childcare. They have to pay for cancer drugs because many are not funded by the government despite the availabilty of free healthcare.

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