The cost of cancer and effect on the US economy is staggering, at a whopping $206 billion in 2007! This includes $78 billion for medical bills, $18 billion for lost productivity from the illness, and $110 billion due to lost productivity from premature death. NCI estimates that by 2017 - less than a decade from now - the total economic burden of cancer in the United States will be $1.82 trillion.
The National Cancer Institute's research funds help to maintain and initiate thousands of research projects in universities, cancer centers, and government scientists across the US. They have projected that given the 'right amount of money', their 2010 budget for cancer research would be $2,100,000,000 ($2.1 billion). This is about 1% of the 2007 cost of cancer.
I found it interesting when I was doing research for this page. It seems that one of the insurance products on the market today is cancer expense insurance. The selling point for the product is that most insurance companies do not pay enough for cancer related expenses, so the additional insurance helps to defray those out-of-pocket expenses. This is certainly not an endorsement of this product. It just points out the high cost of cancer treatment and the lack of insurance coverage.
Those two pieces of information should explain to you why I included a large section in this website to financial and practical issues. There may come a point in your cancer treatment when you will start to make a decision on whether you will continue further treatment based on whether you have the ability to pay for it. I hope and pray that this never happens for you, but I have been faced with this decision myself. I made the right decision for me and chose to go into debt for that treatment (which I am still paying on today). My life was worth much more than the things I own.
Hopefully, the pages in this section will give you an arsenal of tools and alternatives to this dilemma. I wish I had known about these when I was going through my situation. If you find other avenues of financial help, please let us know about them, so that we may pass them on to others.