The cost of medicines and cuts in pay that may happen during treatment are big reasons why many people can't stick with their treatment plan.
Medications and doctors' visits can be expensive, especially if you don't have medical insurance. Even if you do, breast cancer treatment can put a serious strain on your budget: You may not be able to work as much as before, so you may lose income. And if you have to travel a long distance for treatment, travel costs can mount up.
It's very important to remember that there are organizations and funds out there to help people pay for breast cancer treatment if they can't afford it. No one should go without treatment for financial reasons!
If you're having trouble paying for treatment, here are some organizations to contact:
- Begin by contacting the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). They have information about how to get free mammograms, Pap smears, and treatment.
- The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) has an excellent guide to getting the best care for breast cancer, including how to pay for it. The section about paying for treatment is called "Access."
- Many drug companies have assistance programs to help you get the medications you need. Your doctor, nurse, or hospital social worker may be able to refer you to these. You can also find them on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance web site.
- Try calling your local Social Services Department. You may be eligible for Medicaid or other programs for low-income people.
- Call your local Public Health Department to find out about local health care programs.
- Many hospitals run free clinics where they provide medical care at no or low cost.
For more information, please visit the Breastcancer.org Paying for Your Care section.