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People who complete their full course of breast cancer treatment have a higher chance of survival. But, completing treatment can be hard due to a variety of barriers, including the financial costs. The reality is, some cannot afford bus fare or a tank of gas to get to their doctors’ appointments or recommended treatments. Some cannot afford the co-pays for their lifesaving prescribed medications.
A recent survey of over 3,000 people with cancer showed how expensive a cancer diagnosis can truly be:
- 38% of respondents postponed or did not fill drug prescriptions
- 31% cut their pills in half
- 21% missed a utility bill
- 17% missed a rent or mortgage payment
Source: The 2016 CancerCare Patient Access and Engagement Report
The Komen Treatment Assistance Program aims to help people facing the financial burden of breast cancer. This program provides limited financial assistance, education and support services to low-income, underinsured or uninsured women undergoing treatment for breast cancer across the country.
Funding helps patients with oral pain and anti-nausea medication, oral chemotherapy, hormone therapy, child and elder care, transportation to and from treatment, lymphedema care and supplies, and durable medical equipment. By helping to reduce a patient’s financial stress, we hope more people will be able to make it to their appointments and take all their medications as prescribed, which leads to better outcomes, and ultimately saves lives.
- This program was created in 2003, and has helped nearly 24 thousand people facing breast cancer to date.
- Of the people who receive Komen Treatment Assistance funds in FY17, 85 percent used funding to help pay for transportation to and from treatment.
- 61% of patients who receive help with their breast cancer treatment in FY17 were 22-59 years old.