Cost Of Breast Cancer Burdens Most Women

By Kristi L. Nelson
The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “Anytime anyone is diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s going to pose a financial burden,” says Megan Brown, senior director of corporate communications for the American Cancer Society’s Mid-South region. “Even when you have great health insurance, and you have the means to pay your co-pays, that’s money that’s not going to other things you and your family might need.”

The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.

Financially, Paula Carver did everything right. She had a full-time job in her field — accounting — with health insurance.

She lived within her means, avoiding credit-card and other debt, and put back money into savings.

Still, when Carver, then 54, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, it took all her resources and energy to keep from going under — and she had help from friends.

Carver felt a “grape-size” lump in her breast just a few days after her insurance policy at a new job kicked in. Biopsy showed the cancer was moderately aggressive, and suddenly she was on a cycle of weekly medical appointments, scans and debilitating chemotherapy.

“And I didn’t stop working,” Carver said — she couldn’t. Then a single woman, she needed both the income and the insurance.

The American Cancer Society estimates 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer sometime. While many occur in older women, 43 percent of the 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer in 2015 were diagnosed in women younger than 60.

“Anytime anyone is diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s going to pose a financial burden,” said Megan Brown, senior director of corporate communications for the American Cancer Society’s Mid-South region. “Even when you have great health insurance, and you have the means to pay your co-pays, that’s money that’s not going to other things you and your family might need.”

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