Childhood cancer survivors often struggle financially, study finds

Many adult survivors of childhood cancer are experiencing financial hardship associated with susceptible sociodemographic status and later medical effects, according to a study by investigators at Memphis, Tenn.-based St. Jude Research Hospital.

The study, published Aug. 1 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, examined financial hardship, determinants and consequences among 2,811 long-term childhood cancer survivors.

The study found many of these cancer survivors face costly follow-up testing and potential insurance problems and work disruptions if they experience side effects from previous treatment, according to The Washington Post.

The Post reports about one-third of study participants skipped or delayed needed screenings, recommended medications or medical appointments due to financial concerns, and that half were concerned about being able to cover their care.

The study's lead author, I-Chan Huang, told the Post lack of insurance coverage for needed screening, such as mammograms and testing for heart disease caused by radiation, contributed to some of the patients' financial struggles.

"A substantial proportion of adult survivors of childhood cancer experienced financial hardship," the study's authors concluded. "Survivors with financial hardship had an increased risk of symptom prevalence and impaired health-related quality of life."




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