Curing breast cancer but at what cost? Patients report heavy financial toll
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IMAGE: This is Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil. view more 

Credit: Rogel Cancer Center

ANN ARBOR, Michigan — As treatment for early stage breast cancer becomes less extensive and more precise, a new concern is surfacing: Cancer takes an enormous toll financially on many people.

A new study led by researchers at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center finds many patients are concerned about the financial impact of their diagnosis and treatment, and that they feel their doctor’s offices are not helping with these concerns.

“We have made a lot of progress in breast cancer treatment, which is wonderful. But this study shows we are only part of the way to our goal. We must now turn our efforts to confronting the financial devastation many patients face,” says lead study author Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil., deputy chair and professor of radiation oncology at Michigan Medicine.

Researchers surveyed about 2,500 patients treated for early stage breast cancer and 845 treating surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. The study is published in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

About 38 percent of women were at least somewhat worried about finances because of their breast cancer treatment, and some

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