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Cancer Survivors Face Continuing Costs, Study Says

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 03:30:52 +0000

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As the number of cancer survivors increases, individuals are continuing to pay for medical costs throughout their lives, a new study says.

Survivors of the disease find themselves burdened with mounting medical bills. The annual out-of-pocket costs for the typical cancer survivor comes in at more than $8,000 a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, out Thursday, says those who beat cancer struggle as a result of missed work and reduced productivity.

"Cancer survivors face physical, emotional, psychosocial, employment and financial challenges as a result of their cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said Donatus U. Ekwueme, a senior health economist at CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control.

The report also finds that survivors were more likely to be female, non-Hispanic white, have multiple chronic conditions, or be in fair or poor health. Among individuals who were employed at the time of their diagnosis, 25 percent said cancer and its treatment interfered with physical tasks required by their job. Another 25 percent said they felt less productive at work.

Renae Brown lost her job right before being diagnosed.

"I have a little bit of help from state insurance. Not very much. A lot of it comes out of pocket for me," Brown said.

About 10 percent of survivors aged 65 years and younger were uninsured and likely to have a larger financial burden.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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