Every person has known and possibly lost someone they know, a relative, a friend, a coworker, to Cancer.  Cancer doesn’t just happen to a select group of people.  Everyone, including myself and you could experience a cancer diagnosis personally in our lifetime. That is a very sobering fact. One of our own had experienced this first hand and agreed to share her perspective.

Sarah’s Why

“My father was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer over 10 years ago.  He had regular PSA screenings and never had an elevated PSA.  Until he did.  Stage 4.  My family was devasted. Scared.  At that time, my dad ran his own business.  He ended up having to have his prostate completely removed. Recovery was long and difficult.

I remember, my mom, sister, and I would come home from our regular jobs and go straight to my dad’s business to work at night to keep that business going.  On top of the physical and mental trauma of the actual condition, was the constant fear and worry that the business would go under while he recovered.  If he had had a cancer plan in place, that fear and worry could have been completely removed.  While my dad did recover from that cancer diagnosis, I’m afraid he was recently diagnosed with a new type of cancer.  He is now retired, so we don’t have to worry about his work or business, but, we do still have to worry about the cost of treatment. ”

Most people have similar stories, whether they be personal or via friends or other family members.

Look at these statistics. 

Every 30 seconds, someone is diagnosed with a new cancer*

³Cancer Facts & Figures 2018, American Cancer Society, 2018. Accessed 20 Feb. 2018

Every 30 seconds! The numbers are staggering.

This type of coverage is important because these types of illnesses have become so prevalent.

In the US the lifetime risk of developing cancer is 42% (1 in 2) in men and 38% (1 in 3) in women. *

$174 billion is the total projected cost of cancer in the U.S. in 2020*

  1. American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures 2016; pg. 1,
  2. Journal of the National Cancer Institute: Cancer Prevalence and Cost of Care Projections (http://costprojections.cancer.gov/), accessed 6/5/14.

Did you know? 

60% of all costs associated with a cancer diagnosis is non-medical related?

Read it.  Non-Medical related.  What that means is that 60% of the cost of diagnosis/treatment will NOT be covered by your Health Insurance.   So, just to use a round number, if your treatment costs were $100,000 in total, $60,000 would come out of your pocket.  Most people do not have an extra $1000 for a root canal, much less $59,000 more for cancer care.

Some examples of non-medical costs include:

  • Income – what if you are unable to work during your treatment? Who will pay the mortgage and other bills?
  • Housekeeping (who will keep up things at home if you must travel to a cancer center for treatment)? Who will take care of the children?
  • Transportation costs to and from treatment
  • Lodging – some patients need hotels or lodging during treatment
  • Family or caretaker expenses?
  • Copays and deductible payments on your primary insurance