Can I afford to treat my cancer?
By DR. TOM INCLEDON
I’ve been treating patients for a long time and one of the things that frustrate me the most is when people let finances get in the way of their health. I understand that a lot of Americans are on budgets, but that should not mean they forego regular check-ups to save money.
Being on top of your health can be key to preventing diseases like cancer or catching things at an early stage. What people do not always think about is that if you invest a little in your health now, it can save you a lot down the road, especially when you think about cancer treatment costs.
On the other side of the coin, I don’t want people to be afraid of cancer treatments costs and let that prevent them from seeking treatment. You always want patients to have the option to receive cancer treatment, beat the disease, and return to life with family and friends.
Here are some things I hope patients and their families keep in mind when considering cancer treatment and thinking about costs associated with beating the disease.
Know Your Budget
At Causenta, we will often have cancer patients or family members of people diagnosed with cancer call us and say, “I really need your help. I want to beat this cancer.” So, we say, “Great. What’s your budget?” And, they say, “I really don’t know.” Or they say, “I don’t know why I called. I know it’s going to be too expensive.”
Patients like this often end up doing nothing strictly because of financial resources. Don’t just let your life slip by because you aren’t sure what cancer treatment actually costs or think you cannot afford it. Some patients wait so long that the cancer treatment they could have received for less money is now more expensive. In these cases, patients also have a diminished quality of life by the time they seek cancer treatment. We’ve seen patients who are in immense pain, are urinating or defecating on themselves, or can’t get out of bed.
That is problematic for us as a care team and also puts additional stress on the patient and his or her family – financially, physically, and emotionally. So, know your budget. Figure what you can be comfortable with spending on cancer treatment and then make that a commitment to yourself and your health
I don’t care if it’s $100, $1,000, $3,000 a month; whatever that amount is for your, just be up front. Figure it out so that we can help determine how best to spend that money on something that will help you based on your cancer type, other cancer treatments you’ve already undergone, and the stage of your disease. We can often find a treatment option that is affordable and effective for patients. And, we are willing to work with you to find that fit for you.
Don’t Spend Money on Unverified Treatments
There is a lot of information on the internet about cancer, wellness, celebrities, world news … the list goes on and on, but a lot of the information you find isn’t accurate or offers medical advice that is untested. When people are sick and feeling desperate, it’s easy to fall into the trap of reading something online and thinking, “Well, that sounds interesting and people say it works, so I’ll try it.”
Then, they drop a lot of money on a bogus cancer treatment and won’t get any better. Please, before you spend money, especially when it is limited, verify that the cancer treatment you are seeking is verified by legitimate medical professionals.
Spend Less Money for More Results
People often lose sight of the fact that spending some money on their health now is cheaper in the long run. This includes simple, everyday costs like spending money on regular check-ups, healthy food, and gym memberships.
There is something else to keep in mind if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Some patients think, “Oh, I’m sick, I can’t work.” But, if you can continue working while undergoing cancer treatment in the early stages, it can help pay for treatments down the road. Later, when you might not be able to work, you will have set yourself up for longer-term success. This way, you aren’t losing income and getting yourself in a financial hole while you are still able to get up and out of the house.
And, the flip side is that the healthier you get, the better your brain and insight operate, so you can actually leverage your health to make more money. Two great examples of this are athletes and CEOs. They see the clear investment in their health. It works like this: spend $10,000 and make $100,000. This is hard for most people to understand when thinking about their health.
If you say to someone, “Spend $10,000 on your health and we will get you one more year of income,” the person won’t necessarily do it. Most of the time, it’s a very strategic investment because those people will usually live longer than a year. They actually have a higher ROI. But, too many people see it as an expense instead of an investment. If you have cancer and you want to live longer, you have to think about cancer treatment costs in terms of ROI because treating cancer early costs substantially less than when done as the cancer progresses.
Time with Family and Friends is Priceless
This is probably the most important point. What is quality of life and time spent with family and friends worth to you?
Imagine, you are stuck in a hospital bed and your grandkids come to visit. You can barely acknowledge that they are there and say hello, let alone play a game with them or read a book. They’ll be running around outside without you. What if you could spend just three more Sundays with them? Enjoying a meal. Talking about old times. Throwing a football. Playing with the dog. You can’t really put a price tag on that.
When people are thinking about the cost of cancer treatment, they don’t take into account the cost of quality of life. At Causenta, our goal is to give you the best quality of life ever and more Sundays with loved ones doing the things you enjoy.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer and want to know more about how much a customized cancer treatment plan costs, contact us today for a consultation. Please tell us everything you can so that we can provide you with the support you need. We want to get you back onto the path of feeling great and achieving your best possible overall health. We want you to enjoy a multitude of Sundays. Call us.