Study: Millions of cancer survivors put off care they can't afford

Study: Millions of cancer survivors put off care they can't afford

News and Articles
Jun 15 2010

The Associated Press: A new study says about 2 million of the 12 million cancer survivors in the United States put off medical care because they cannot afford it. “The study is being called the first to estimate how often current and former patients have skipped getting care because of money worries. It was led by Kathryn Weaver, a researcher at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. The work was based on national surveys of more than 110,000 people, including 6,600 cancer survivors, from 2003 through 2006. It was released online Monday by the American Cancer Society’s medical journal, Cancer.” Younger cancer patients were more likely to respond they had put off care because of the cost (Stobbe, 6/14).

CNN: “Hispanic cancer survivors were most likely to skip treatment according to the study. Hispanic and African American cancer survivors were more likely than whites to leave prescriptions unfilled or to forgo needed dental care. … Because of their experience, Weaver says, cancer survivors may have a more heightened sense of health and vulnerability and they might be more aware of symptoms indicating something more serious. She says they may perceive they need more care than the typical person, which may present more opportunities for financial fears to interfere with them getting the care they need” (Henry, 6/14).

Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal: “The Wake Forest study found that breast- and prostate-cancer survivors were least likely to forgo services, while cervical-cancer and melanoma survivors were the most likely to forgo services. Also, the most likely survivors to forgo services were those within the first year of post-diagnosis or very long-term survivors” (Craver, 6/14).

This article is republished with kind permission from our friends at The Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery of in-depth coverage of health policy developments, debates and discussions. The Daily Health Policy Report is published for, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Copyright 2009 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.


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