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Cancer Survivors Face Financial Hardship 

A cancer diagnosis means a lot of uncertainties. It may mean surviving surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. It may mean multiple hospital stays and expensive medication. Unfortunately, cancer can not only take a toll on the body but on a bank account as well. 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, about one-fourth of cancer survivors in the United States say they have had problems paying medical bills and about one-third say they are worried about medical costs. Additionally, the Chicago Tribune reports that cancer patients are twice as likely to declare bankruptcy. Can you imagine the double whammy of getting a cancer diagnosis and realizing you will be in financial trouble after treatment?

The Journal of American Medicine is studying this phenomenon and wants to change the system that causes more than 42% of patients to deplete their entire life’s savings to afford expensive treatments and medications. 

Bankruptcy, therefore, becomes an option that many cancer survivors and their families are forced to consider. Faced with piles of bills and binders full of insurance forms, many families take a look at how bankruptcy could discharge the debt that has built up after hospital stays or treatments. The option may not be ideal but the automatic stay can stop harassing creditor calls and may help ease the burden of an insurmountable stack of bills. 


Sadly, the cost-related hardship is unfairly burdening the lower-income brackets and people of color. Cancer occurs indiscriminately, but the costs seem to exacerbate existing disparities in our healthcare system. 

Do you need help after a cancer diagnosis? Are the bills overwhelming and you realize it is hurting your savings and retirement? Call The Law Office of Barry R. Levine with questions and let us help you. Call us at 978-922-8440, or visit our website at