Cancer treatment can become a quick financial burden after diagnosis to you and the members of your family. Research conducted by Duke University in 2011, revealed that the average amount of money a cancer patient in the US spends is no less than $8,500 annually on the things not covered by his/her insurance. also states that even patients with health insurance cannot be guaranteed treatment options they can afford.

Extra Financial Needs

In addition to this, a cancer patient needs finances for transport, physical therapy and money to support his/her expensive diet. Numerous studies have shown that nearly double bankruptcies have been reported in patients with cancer after a year of diagnosis compared to the general population. It is in this case this article has been prepared to help protect you and your family from financial constraints caused by cancer.

It may be a devastating time, but you need not despair. The first person to approach when inquiring about financial aid is your health care provider; it could be a nurse, the doctor or even social worker. Quite a number of treatment centers have financial advisers who are there to provide assistance on insurance paperwork and also an estimate of the cost of the treatment. With this information, you will be able to have a precise number when asking for financial aid from any other institution. The financial counselor not only gives you this information but he/she may help you work out a payment plan for the bills you need to meet. Some treatment centers are willing to give you a waiver on the cost if you are not able to pay the full amount.

Financial Programs

Apart from the medical and financial personnel you meet at the treatment facilities, there are a numerous number of financial programs and organizations available for you. The organizations can be at the local level, and even nationally, all you need to do is to apply, and your financial aid is approved after a review. Here are some of the programs that are available.

National Organizations

The national organizations are foundations formed in order to be of assistance to cancer patients countrywide. Here are some of the organizations you can send your request for financial aid to.

  • CancerCare's Financial Assistance Programs. This is a financial assistant that provides a limited financial boost to those affected by cancer. If you are diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) the organization can provide up to $1,000 which will be for your PCR testing for the period you are enrolled in the LLS's Financial Assistance Program for CML Patients. Anyone is eligible to apply for this whether you have insurance or not. The other financial assistance by the same organization is the LLS's Co-Pay Assistance Program. To get this assistance, you must qualify medically and financially. It involves the provision of financial support that goes to insurance premium cost and/or insurance co-payment for the drugs you need.

  • The Cancer Finance Assistance Coalition (CFAC). This national organization was founded by various other organizations that help provide assistance to cancer patients. The organization provides a database through their website where you can find financial resources to help with your treatment.

  • HealthWell Foundation. It is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to patients with the life-altering and chronic diseases. The organization provides the financial aid that assists partial payment for prescription drugs, health insurance premiums and any other deductibles.

  • The National Foundation for Transplant. This organization provides fundraising assistance needing all forms of transplant including bone marrow for cancer patients.

  • The Leukemia Lymphoma Society's patient financial aid program. This foundation provides financial assistance to patients with blood cancer with a significant need to pay for treatment expenses.

Local Organizations

Various local volunteer organizations provide financial aid for either treatment or other expenses like travel allowance. Some of them include:

  • The Lions Club

  • The salvation army

  • Catholic Charities

  • The Jewish social services

  • Lutheran social services.

A lot of hospitals or treatment centers maintain a list of financial assistance providers. Therefore, you can get this information from them. A social worker may also provide you with the same information.


Written by:

Michael Monheit who is the managing partner for Monheit Law. He has over 20 years of experience as an attorney and is a sponsoring member of where he provides free legal consultations to cancer patients.