Coughlin, S. S., Ayyala, D. N., Tingen, M. S., Cortes, J. E.
AIMS: there has been an increasing awareness of the potential for oncology care to result in long-term financial burdens and financial toxicity. Patients who report cancer-related financial problems or high costs are more likely to forgo or delay prescription medications and medical care. MATERIALS AND METHODS: we examined financial distress using data from a survey of 164 breast cancer survivors who had completed primary therapy for the disease. KEY FINDINGS: among respondents, 8.6% (13 of 151) reported that “being less able to provide for the financial needs of their family” was as a severe problem; 14.4% (22 of 153) reported “difficulty in meeting medical expenses” was a severe problem; and 8.4% (13 of 154) reported that “no money for cost of or co-payment for medical visits” was a severe problem. About 8.4% (13 of 154) of the respondents reported that “no money for cost of or co-payment for medicine” was a severe problem. In logistic regression analysis, younger age and lower household income were significant predictors of financial distress. In multiple linear regression analysis, younger age and lower household income were significant predictors of financial distress. SIGNIFICANCE: financial toxicity remains a major issue in breast cancer care. Efforts are needed to ensure patients experiencing high levels of financial toxicity are able to access recommended care. In addition, patients should talk with their providers about the costs of oncology care and about opportunities to reduce costs while maintaining high quality of care.