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Millions Skipping Life-Saving Cancer Treatments Over Cost

Millions Skipping Life-Saving Cancer Treatments Over Cost

Millions of cancer patients are skipping treatments because of cost, putting long-term health and well-being at risk.

An analysis conducted by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center shows that two out of 12 million adult cancer survivors have skipped treatment in the previous year due to financial reasons.

Among cancer survivors, 7.8 percent went without some kind of medical care, 9.9 percent without prescription medications, 11.3 percent without dental care, and 2.7 percent went without mental health care.

Cancer patients under age 65 (when Medicare kicks in) were one and a half to two times more likely to have put off medical care. Hispanic and black cancer survivors were more likely to go without prescription medications and dental care than white survivors.

Breast and prostate cancer survivors are least likely to do without; cervical cancer and melanoma survivors are most likely to skip medical care.

Low income women often do not take prescribed hormonal treatment as part of their breast cancer treatment, possibly lowering their survival rates.

In addition to uninsured cancer patients, insured cancer survivors are also having a tough time with high deductibles and co-pays for continuing treatment.

The study authors concluded that “future research needs to examine the impact of forgoing care on survivors’ quality of life and survival.”

Study team leader Kathryn Weaver also noted that it will

be interesting to observe how recent health care reform efforts might impact access to care for cancer survivors.

The National Center for Health Statistics says that 15.4 percent of Americans lacked health insurance in 2009, compared to 14.7 percent in 2008.

That won’t change much over the next several years, but once

The Patient Affordable Health Care Act is fully implemented in 2014, the new law is expected to expand health insurance coverage to an additional 32 million Americans.

A separate study by Dr. Anthony S. Robbins of the American Cancer Society showed that disparities in cancer stage and treatments are the main reasons Medicaid and uninsured patients are twice as likely to die within five years as privately insured patients.

Because the lower survival rate for rectal cancer patients without private insurance is largely due to later diagnosis and inadequate treatment, disparities may be lessened through health care reform — improving insurance coverage and reducing financial barriers to treatment.

We are still a country in crisis.

ACS CAN, the nonprofit advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, says that more than 1.5 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer and approximately 569,490 will die from the disease in 2010.

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Photo: visualsonline.cancer.gov


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10:45AM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

https://secure.consumersunion.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=Rx_order_Guide_year_one
Click on the above link to get a copy of a pamphlet about the new health care laws and what it means to you. The pamphlets are free and you can order several to hand out to family and friends, and at your church, school, etc, Help others get educated also so they will not be so terrified when they hear anti-health care advertisements.

6:59PM PDT on Apr 1, 2011

Canadians love their medical system, and all of Europe is happy too; socialism in medical care works.

8:27AM PDT on Sep 21, 2010

Finding a dentist who will accept Medicaid is extremely difficult. Families who pay directly for medical care will go to the doctor and not the dentist. I think the rate of americans who don't have dental care insurance is extremely high and even if you do have insurance it will only cover a small portion of the bill and usually has a cap of paying one or two thousand a year and if you have several cavities or need a root canal you meet the deductibles and maximum yearly allowance quickly.

8:15PM PDT on Jul 14, 2010

Being poor is sometimes a life sentence in itself!

7:51AM PDT on Jun 24, 2010

It is dramatic and not fair

5:22PM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

America is full of fat wealthy republicans and corporations who want to make money the easy way, by cheating as many people as possible as fast as possible. I get sick of people who are covered, say that everyone should be responsible for themselves. They play the Haughty blame game. They are terrified we might become a socialized country. They also are miserly about social security payments to people who have contributed all their lives. They will make sure the younger generation will be living on the streets cause they won't have any for you. They actually have put the funds that we paid into the general fund so they can finance wars and weapons. If I were younger I would move to Australia, New Zeeland, or somewhere that had a heart. I feel so bad for people who cannot afford or get insurance and really need it now. Hopefully when some of Obama's health care bill comes into effect some of this will be old news. I think they will be prevented from withholding insurance because of a existing condition. Check again with your insurance as it may now be illegal. American, with thousands of nuclear bombs, 800 bases in other countries around the world, and killed a million people in Iraq in an illegal war of aggression, and begrudge helping their own. It makes me sick. I am 68 and am sick at what is going on. You must write your legislator and ask them if they agree with this state of affairs. The wars are bankrupting us. Better learn to speak Chinese.

10:33AM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

People living with cancer or cancer survivors should not have to go without treatment because of the cost.

4:21AM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

That's really sad.

2:08AM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

Oh look, we found the REAL Death Panels, and they already exist. They belong to the health for Profit agencies and the school of 'we don't give a sh*t about you the people, as long as we make money'.

7:36PM PDT on Jun 21, 2010

Well, here we go again... long as medical treatment is seen as a commodity and not a human right, we shall not only be banko morally but out of money also... and let me add: America is no longer the richest nation on earth when you measure wealth by the unused natural resources... we have pumped, dilled, killed, and waisted. And for what? To drive up profit of course! 60 million buffalo killed to starve the Natives and raise cattle. During the "Great Depression" farmers killed their live stock, let their crops rot, while American people starved.... for what again? Profit and protection of the market.
Let us take an accounting: Oil market (failed) Banking Market (failed) Houseing Market (failed) Health Care (failed and will some more), When greed and profit over comes a common good, it shall fail... only the expanding market gives the illusion of being a success but make no mistake it shall fail given a bit of time. The earth is screwed and then you too.. Too many people and too much waist. Unless of course a good pandemic or Grand Inquisition comes along. Take care

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