You got the news no one wants to hear from their doctor -- you have cancer. After the initial shock, you learned all about it and what your treatment options were. You picked a course of action and started acting. Now, not too long after starting treatment, you learn your insurance isn't as helpful as you had hoped and you are facing some serious debt if you continue treatment. Sound like your life? It certainly is the reality for a number of Tennessee residents.
According to a fairly recent news article in The Washington Post, new cancer treatments can cost upward of $100,000 per year. Few people can afford that.
What are doctors doing about it?
In order to help cancer patients get the care they need, some doctors are looking at reducing drug dosages in order to spread them out and decrease the cost of care overtime. This, of course, will take time and trials to determine if the drugs are still effective at half-doses and if it is really beneficial to the patient to go this route. Setting up a trial like this will cost millions of dollars and will require the help of medical centers who are willing to be a part of such a study.
Why do they think this will work?
Food intake affects the absorption of some oral cancer medications. Pharmaceutical companies suggest taking these drugs while fasting in order to maximize absorption, but the doctors who wish to reduce drug amounts believe that food can actually help with absorption. One trial with the drug Zytiga proved this. Though the study was small, bioavailability of Zytiga has increased four to seven times compared to taking a larger amount while fasting.
This small study has given hope that reducing drug amounts and therefore costs is possible. However, more trials are still necessary before this becomes common practice.
Half-doses still expensive
If half-doses of certain drugs for certain cancers becomes a reality, it could save patients a great deal of money. At the end of the day, though, the cost to cover their cancer treatments may still be more than they can afford. This is particularly true if you are an average wage earner.
If you find yourself drowning in debt while fighting for your life, there may be debt relief options available to you. With a little legal help, you can find a solution for your economic woes so you can spend your time focusing on what matters most -- taking care of yourself and your health.