The key to treating any cancer successfully is being consistent with your regimen. This is especially true when it comes to breast cancer as the condition can progress more quickly than other forms of cancer. Unfortunately, breast cancer treatment costs can be overwhelming for those who don’t have insurance coverage. If you know where to look, though, you can tap into certain resources that can help.
How Much Treatment Can Cost
The cost of treating breast cancer can vary widely depending on a number of factors including the type of treatment you need and the stage of your cancer. For example, treating someone who’s been diagnosed with stage 1 cancer may spend over $82,000 for treatment within the first year of diagnosis while someone who’s at stage 4 could spend as much as $135,000 over the same period.
One contributor to these costs is the medication you have to take. Chemotherapy can cost as much as $18,000 per month while targeted drug therapy and drugs for metastatic cancer can cost up to $14,000 and $5,000 respectively every month. If you also need hormone replacement therapy, you could spend up to $90 per month for that, too.
The numbers are just as scary if you need surgical procedures like a lumpectomy or mastectomy. The first can cost you between $4,000 and $10,000 while the second comes in at about $13,000.
Of course, those numbers don’t even take into account that you might need additional tests during treatment or care from other specialists like physical therapists and counselors.
How To Afford Your Treatment
The first thing you should know is that it might be possible for you to get insurance coverage that you can afford. There are government-based programs that can provide you with health insurance and also subsidize the premiums. If this isn’t an option for you, then you can start by talking to your doctor about any financial assistance programs they might recommend. They may also have samples of medications that you were prescribed. You can also save money by opting for generic drugs instead of the branded ones.
When discussing your treatment plan, you should check if any of the drug manufacturers provide discount cards or have a financial aid program in place for those who need it. Some persons like those who have a disability, are in the military, or are in a particular income bracket may get special consideration as well.
Finally, you should talk to your doctor about being enrolled in a clinical trial. Many of these trials or either free or heavily subsidized. They also give you access to new treatment options and can be helpful for persons who have advanced breast cancer or aggressive forms of cancer like triple-negative breast cancer.
If you get treatment at specific health centers, it can be helpful to ask if they have a financial assistance program. Alternatively, you can check if there are government-funded facilities that offer the same service at a lower cost. Sometimes, your doctor may ask you to