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Financial Toxicity in Cancer Treatment

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Joyce and Robin speak with Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the American Cancer Society.  They discuss a recent article by Dr. Zheng and colleagues at the American Cancer Society that appeared in their journal Cancer in May, along with an editorial by Dr. Daniel Goldstein.

"Financial toxicity is now a well established and generally accepted toxicity related to cancer care...In recent years, several reports have demonstrated the significant ifnancial issues faced by some patients with cancer.  A study in the state of Washington demonstrated that individuals with cancer are 2.7 times more likely to declare bankruptcy than individuals without cancer.  Furthermore, those who had been bankrupted had a 79% greater risk of death than patients who were not bankrupt." [Goldstein]

We rely on the Food and Drug Administration to protect us from toxicity in our medications -- the unforeseen damaging side effects that may accompany drugs intended to help.  But what additional stress, burden -- and in fact toxicity -- results from the cost of cancer care?  And how much is that causing damage to our mental and physical health?

For more information, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345

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