According to the National Cancer Institute, the total cost of treating cancer reached an estimated $124.6 billion nationally in 2010. Thanks to new treatment innovations and an aging population, that number is only expected to rise in the coming years. Individually, the cost of cancer can be hundreds of thousands of dollars, and includes everything from direct costs for treatment to everyday living expenses (such as groceries and utilities) which are often harder to pay for if a cancer patient or caregiver must leave a job during treatment.
On Wednesday, November 13, St. Louisans will have a chance to learn about these costs and receive advice on how to deal with the costs of cancer care at “Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Coping with the Cost of Cancer.” Held at the David C. Pratt Cancer Center conference room at Mercy Hospital, 607 S. New Ballas Road, 63141, this event will feature speakers Ann Plunkett, attorney and president of Workplace Partners; Claudia Abbott, insurance specialist; and Ryan Barker, vice president of health policy at the Missouri Foundation for Health. Plunkett, Abbott, and Barker will discuss everything from medical billing and insurance to employment rights and community resources, as well as how the Affordable Care Act and health exchanges affect cancer care. For more information and registration for this event, call 238-2000 or 251-6400, or visit www.cancersupportstl.org.
If you can’t make it to the event, check out these resources online:
- A printable booklet on managing cancer costs, published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology
- Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition, a national group of organizations that help cancer patients manage the financial challenges that accompany their diagnoses and treatments
- CancerCare, an organization dedicated to helping cancer patients pay for their treatment