Monday, March 10, 2014

Money and Cancer

Yes, those are two great taboos that we encounter in CancerLand. We know the experience of people turning away or being insensitive because they don’t know how to talk or ask about cancer.

But money is the place where many of us turn away. We are reluctant to ask about prices, costs, expenses and who can say, “Can we afford this?” when the conversation is about the cancer care of a loved one?

Simply by our social culture we treat money talk as taboo then mix in a crisis, a hint of death, some judgments about family issues, savings, spending…and you have a great big silence. One frequent blind spot is assuming that if you have health insurance you are all set. But, and you know if you have cancer, seeing a doctor several times a month can mean a big bill of co-pays. You can be in debt even before chemo begins.

That silence around money and the cost of cancer care can hurt everyone: the patient, the caregivers, the kids and extended family and friends as well. Money talk is just plain fraught. But it’s crucial. And there is help –both financial help and help in how to talk about it.

CURE Magazine has published a special report called “Paying for Cancer Care.” It’s a tremendous resource and it’s free as are most of the resources they provide in the print and online publication.

Here are some of the articles in the publication:

Financial Fix: A cancer diagnosis could break the bank, but it doesn’t have to.

Risky Business: Concerns about insurance should be addressed early.

Debt Crisis: Coping with cancer’s financial aftermath calls for creative solutions.

Money Madness: Worry about the cost of care takes an emotional toll.

That’s just a start to what is available in the special report, “Paying for Cancer Care.”

You can see the publication and all the links online at Here is the link:

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