Mesothelioma is a difficult diagnosis to understand and deal with. The average mesothelioma patient lives less than five years after being diagnosed. Mesothelioma is a deadly and aggressive cancer.
Like other cancers, mesothelioma is also expensive to treat. Often patients are stuck wondering if the cost of the treatment is worth it considering that there is no cure and the survival rate is so low.
Cost of treatment and care
No matter what stage a patient is in when he or she is diagnosed with mesothelioma, the price can get high very quickly. Even with health insurance, the medical bills add up fast and can get overwhelming. Treatment costs often include:
- Chemotherapy. Usually, the first course of chemotherapy treatment is about $7,000. For some patients, this will be enough, but for others, there will be multiple courses of chemotherapy depending on their treatment plan. These courses can run as high as $30,000.
- Radiation. Depending on the plan the doctor and patient have decided on, radiation therapy may be another treatment on the list. The cost for radiation treatment can be between $10,000 and $50,000.
- Surgery. There are a lot of reasons a doctor will suggest surgery as part of the treatment plan. Surgery can make other treatments more effective than chemotherapy or radiation treatments alone. Typically, lung cancer surgery is about $40,000.
- Other treatments. Some patients can cope with their mesothelioma treatments better when they can have acupuncture of massage therapy. For some, this can be the difference between being able to tolerate another round of chemotherapy and giving up. Sessions can cost anywhere between $100 to $150. While less overwhelming than the other treatment costs, with additional expenses adding up, patients can have a hard time justifying one more expense.
More than just doctor bills
There is more to the cost of treating mesothelioma than paying for medical care. Patients often are unable to work and quickly run out of paid sick leave. Other patients do not have sick leave at all or may have no option but to quit working altogether. Not only are they no longer earning the income that was helping to pay for treatment, but they also may not have the health insurance that was helping cover the treatment costs.
As mesothelioma advances, patients also may need support for their daily life. Hiring a caregiver or asking a family member to provide care can add to the expenses as well.
The cost of treating mesothelioma can be expensive. Patients need to have a strong support system in place so that they know who they can reach out to as they go through the treatment of this aggressive disease.
In addition, financial help is available. By filing a claim against an asbestos bankruptcy trust or filing a lawsuit against those responsible for the patient’s asbestos exposure, mesothelioma patients can get the legal and financial help they need through this incredibly difficult journey.