Fighting financial toxicity

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Wed, December 08, 2021

The financial burden of cancer care is a growing issue. In fact, the topic has even sprouted a name to reflect its seriousness — financial toxicity — likening it to the toxicities of the treatments that kill cancer cells.

It’s a fitting term. Slightly more patients were worried about the high financial burden of their cancer care than of dying from cancer, one 2018 survey found. But the medical community is stepping up to research and address the challenge more than ever before.

“We have made a lot of progress in many types of cancer treatment, which is wonderful. But we must turn our efforts to confronting the financial devastation many patients face,” said Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil., a radiation oncologist at the Rogel Cancer Center who studies the issue.

Michigan Health spoke with Jagsi to understand more about how financial toxicity affects patients and what resources patients can turn to.