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For some, personal bankruptcy is a side effect of cancer

Cancer can reach the life of almost any New York resident, whether through an individual's personal diagnosis or through its impact on the life of a friend or loved one. Not everyone who receives a cancer diagnosis is lucky enough to beat it, although some are fortunate enough to receive the medical care they need to return to their pre-cancer lives.

Of that lucky population who do beat cancer, some face an additional challenge after their diseases are cured. According to a recent study based on data from 2012, about one out of every three working cancer survivors incurs debt as a result of the disease, and 3 percent of cancer survivors have to file for personal bankruptcy. There are many reasons that cancer survivors face significant financial challenges, not the least of which is the high costs often associated with their treatments.

The costs of treating cancer have increased at a rate that is two to three times faster than the costs of treating other medical conditions. Cancer therapies can cost in excess of $50,000. Some individuals are forced to take time off of work when cancer strikes and they are unable to earn their regular wages and salaries. As their debts increase and incomes decrease, they can face dire financial circumstances as they simultaneously battle aggressive diseases.

Medical bills cause many people to face financial peril, but it seems that cancer patients bear a heavy burden when it comes to paying for their treatments. Survivors often incur heavy debts and some have to file for personal bankruptcy. Readers who have overcome cancer and who are now dealing with their insurmountable medical debts may consider bankruptcy as one of their options.

Source: NBC News, "Debt, Bankruptcy are Rewards for Cancer Survivors," Jan. 5, 2016

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