COSA 2016: Around 1 in 3 cancer survivors experience ‘financial toxicity’ according to research presented at the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) and Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trial Group (ANZBCTG) joint Annual Scientific Meeting.
The financial hardship survivors’ experience is caused by a combination of factors, including the cost of treatment and ongoing care, as well as loss of income and the challenges they experience returning to work.
Associate Professor Louisa Gordon, from QIMR Berghofer, conducted a review of research including 25 studies in 16 countries to collate information on the extent of financial stress felt by cancer survivors around the globe.
Associate Professor Gordon emphasised that financial toxicity is a common issue worldwide – including in countries like Australia with universal health systems. She said some patient groups are particularly disadvantaged by a cancer diagnosis.
“We found that between 28 – 48 percent of cancer survivors experience ‘financial toxicity’. Studies show that if you are female, of a younger age, had a low income prior to diagnosis, are undergoing ongoing treatment and were recently diagnosed you are more likely to experience financial hardship as a cancer survivor.
“The fact that financial toxicity is so common indicates that we need better support for cancer survivors – to help them understand the cost of treatment and minimise out-of-pocket expenses, as well as make sure they get the support they need and can ultimately return to work.”
[hr] Source: COSA. Visit the COSA ASM website for more information on speakers, abstracts and scheduled presentations.