12% of cancer survivors live in poverty

Twelve percent of cancer survivors live in poverty, leading to poor health outcomes and an inability to see doctors because of the cost, researchers at the Augusta-based Medical College of Georgia and the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University found.

Many cancer treatments can cost $100,000 or more. Researchers found 59 percent of low-income people self-reported poor health conditions. Low-income survivors are also three times as likely as high-income survivors to report the inability to see a doctor due to the cost, the university's publication JagWire said.

"The high cost of oncology care in the United States and its adverse effects on cancer survivors is of increasing concern," researchers wrote in the journal JCO Oncology Practice. "The financial burden of cancer often persists years after diagnosis, due to ongoing costs of cancer care and late effects of cancer treatment, as well as incurred debt, lost income and inability to work."

To combat the financial burden of treatment, JagWire suggests health care providers screen for financial hardship on the first visit and provide possible resources to those in need.

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