A new nationwide study found that worry about costs have prevented many cancer survivors from receiving the medical care they need, raising concerns about the long-term health and wellbeing of cancer survivors.
The study, which appears in the June 14 online issue of Cancer, the journal of the American Cancer Society, points out that in the U.S., many cancer survivors live for many years after their original diagnosis, increasing the importance of continued access to health care.
The study found that overall, 18 percent of U.S. cancer survivors, or more than two million people, went without one or more necessary medical services due to cost concerns. Specifically, 7.8 percent of survivors went without medical care; 9.9 percent went without prescription drugs; 11.3 percent went without dental care; and 2.7 percent went without mental health care, due to cost concerns.
The study also found that cancer survivors under the age of 65 were 1.5 to 2 times more likely to delay or go without all types of medical care than those with no history of cancer.
According to Dr. Kathryn E. Weaver, author of the report, "Although the large number of survivors going without care was somewhat surprising, it has long been recognized that cancer can have a negative impact on the financial health of survivors. This is important because cancer survivors have many medical needs that persist for years after the diagnosis and treatment."