A mesothelioma diagnosis is a shock to the system. It means coming to grips with the fact you or someone you love has cancer. But it also means struggling with more than the disease; it means struggling with the treatments, which do not come cheap.
Cancer treatments have become so expensive that one AARP article opened by asking if you would be better served by first seeing a medical specialist or a money manager. Even more startling? The magazine suggested that visiting the money manager first might lead to better outcomes.
Where does all the money go?
The AARP article didn’t distinguish between the costs of different forms of cancer. However, it’s possible to make rough comparisons between mesothelioma and other lung cancers. According to the National Cancer Institute, the average cost of lung cancer treatment is $61,000 in the first year. It’s roughly $8,000 per year afterward until the last year of a patient’s life. In that last year, treatment costs women $93,000 and costs men nearly $95,000.
That’s a lot of money. As the AARP notes, the average cost of all cancer treatment comes to $150,000 per patient. Insurance often helps, but many victims still feel a sizable pinch.
So, where does all that money go? A study published in 2019 explored many of the different costs:
- More than $25,000 per hospitalization
- Victims who qualify for pleurectomy/decortication might expect to pay another $54,000
- Two of the more common chemotherapy cycles cost roughly $39,000 and $88,000
- Continued treatment can add more than $8,000 to the chemotherapy costs per month
- Hospice or nursing home costs for end-of-life care may run between $45,000 to $58,000
Of course, there may be other costs. And it’s worth noting that the study drew upon figures from 2014. Those costs have likely risen since then.
How can I pay for all that?
Fortunately, most victims can expect their insurance to cover a large chunk of the costs. But they may still face significant out-of-pocket expenses, as well as a variety of costs related to adjustments in their daily lives.
Additionally, if you ask any mesothelioma victim what reasonable compensation looks like, you’ll likely hear about the real pain and suffering the disease carries with it. The medical bills don’t reveal the full cost of the disease. There’s a very real human cost. The disease upends lives. It keeps people from jobs. It tears through families and destroys people’s plans for their futures.
This is why many mesothelioma victims have contacted attorneys to seek fair compensation. Health insurance doesn’t cover everything. Victims often need to pursue other means of funding their recoveries.