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Increase Cancer Treatment Cost: Chemotherapy Cost Is Going Up

April 12, 2022
Est. Reading: 3 minutes

Chemotherapy Cost is Going Up

The average cost of chemotherapy can vary widely depending on the type of cancer being treated, the drugs used, the length of treatment, and other factors. According to a 2018 study, the median cost of chemotherapy was $10,000 for a single course of treatment. However, this figure does not include the costs of other necessary treatments such as doctor's visits, hospital stays, and other medications. The cost of chemotherapy can also vary depending on the patient's insurance coverage.

Patients who are uninsured or have a high deductible may have to pay the entire cost of their treatment out-of-pocket. Some charities and assistance programs may help cover the cost of chemotherapy for those who qualify. It is important to speak with your doctor about the expected cost of treatment before starting chemotherapy. This can help you make informed decisions about your care and budget for the future.

While chemotherapy cost can be a financial burden, it is important to remember that the treatment may save your life. Cancer treatment is an investment in your health and well-being, and it is worth the effort to find a way to cover the costs. There are many resources available to help with the financial aspects of cancer treatment. Speak with your doctor, social worker, or financial advisor to learn more about how to manage the cost of chemotherapy.

cancer treatment cost

Cancer Treatment Cost

On a worldwide basis, cancer drugs, and chemotherapy, in particular, are becoming more expensive. In the United States specifically, it is not uncommon for a new cancer drug to cost upwards of $100,000 per year. The high price tags have been blamed on a number of factors, including the high cost of research and development, FDA approval process, and marketing costs.

In addition to the cost of the drugs themselves, patients also have to pay for other related expenses, such as doctor's visits, hospital stays, and tests. The cost of cancer treatment can also vary depending on the type of cancer being treated. For example, treatment for breast cancer is typically less expensive than treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Many patients are forced to make difficult decisions about their care due to the high cancer treatment cost. Some patients may choose to forgo treatment altogether because they cannot afford it. Others may decide to go into debt in order to pay for their care. Prof Richard Fordham, from UEA's Norwich Medical School, said: "Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and second most common cancer overall, with two million cases per year worldwide.

"Most patients require surgery, additional radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or a combination of these to reduce the risk of cancer coming back. Around a third of breast cancer patients receive chemotherapy, but there are gray areas around which patients do and don't need chemotherapy.

cancer treatment cost

Key findings:

  • The total cost of breast cancer chemotherapy in the United States was estimated to be $16.8 billion in 2013
  • The cost of a single course of treatment can range from $10,000 to $100,000
  • Many patients are forced to make difficult decisions about their care due to the high cost of treatment

As the cost of cancer treatment continues to rise, it is important to be aware of the financial assistance options that are available. There are a number of charities and assistance programs that can help patients with the cost of their care. Speak with your doctor or social worker to learn more about these resources. In addition, costs for the emotional well-being of carers should never be forgotten. Emotional wellbeing reflects how much additional income would be required to offset a well-being loss.


Dr. Stephanie Howard-Wilsher, also of UEA's Norwich Medical School, said:

"We spoke to breast cancer patients who had undertaken chemotherapy to better understand the actual experiences and impacts of these costs. We also interviewed healthcare staff involved in breast cancer care for their views on chemotherapy and associated costs. The interviews with patients really show the impact that breast cancer has on lives. They talk about their worlds just falling apart, and chemotherapy side effects like hair loss, tiredness, constipation, and diarrhea, loss of taste. And they also talk about the emotional impact on their families and those caring for them."

chemotherapy cost

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