Warning: Cancer Diagnosis can lead to Bankruptcy

A new study reveals that cancer patients can become bankrupt soon. Though cancer patients in the US are surviving for longer years, they are also becoming bankrupt in the process.

The researchers analyzed data of about 232,000 cancer patients in western Washington. They found that bankruptcy rates increased four times after cancer diagnosis and that too within five years.

Bankruptcy rates doubled for cancer patients one year after cancer diagnosis. On average, a cancer patient can expect to become bankrupt 2.5 years after they are diagnosed with the dreaded disease.

The study also looked at the effects of factors like cancer type and treatment on bankruptcy. Lymphoma/leukemia, thyroid and lung cancer patients face higher risk of bankruptcy. Seniors over the age of 65 reported lower levels of bankruptcy as they have Medicare coverage.

The economic downturn has lead to a rise in the numbers of cancer patients who have declared bankruptcy. Cancer patients suffer loss of income and out-of-pocket medical costs which can make them bankrupt. These findings were revealed at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology held recently in Chicago.

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