Childhood cancer survivors need financial checkups as adults.
The US website Marketwatch explains that in addition to health checkups, cancer survivors will need financial checkups post treatment too.
The article referenced a study published by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in New York City. The study included almost 3,000 long-term paediatric cancer survivors aged between 18 and 65. “More than half said they were worried about paying for care and one-third said finances kept them from seeking medical care. (They were, on average, 23 years from their diagnosis and all had been treated at St. Jude.)”
Beyond the impact that cancer has on health and wellbeing, the financial impact of cancer has a lasting effect too. Even years after treatment, survivors may find that financial challenges prevent them from accessing health services.
“Financial challenges can be dangerous to survivors’ physical and mental well-being,” the article explains. “Along with delaying or not receiving medical care they need, financial hardships can cause survivors psychological distress.”
This highlights a significant problem, as many cancer survivors suffer late effects, and have financial challenges later in life. They may not plan properly for retirement costs and they could also experience difficulty securing health and life insurance. This could lead to an overall reduced quality of life.
“Researchers looked at three main financial consequences of childhood cancer on survivors: financial hardship and paying for medical care out-of-pocket, ongoing concerns about the cost of medical care, and their state of mind,” the article continues. “About 65% of the survivors told St. Jude they had a problem in at least one of these categories, 56% said they had problems in two of these areas, while 9% said they experienced issues with all three.”
So what can cancer survivors do? The article suggests to prioritise communication, even if this means owning up to financial hardship with doctors.