Mainstream cancer treatments
If you think you’ve got enough health insurance to handle the worst, think again. “Pretty good coverage” often isn’t good enough when it comes to a bout with cancer. The deductibles, copays and lifetime limits can wipe you out.
How bad is it? How much does a typical battle with cancer really cost? My research team looked into that question and found some shockers. . .
Ten-year breast cancer survivor was told:
Doctors didn’t give Wiltrude much hope when they diagnosed her with cancer in the year 2000. Wiltrude, a German psychologist, never thought cancer would happen to her. But it did. And it came as a big shock.
One doctor told her, “You’ll be dead in a year.” Late stage breast cancer is virtually incurable using conventional treatments. Even M.D.s admit it. They talk about “buying you more time.” (Don’t count on it. The evidence shows you’re better off doing nothing than chemo.)
When Wiltrude told her doctor she was going to try alternative treatments, he said, “You are committing suicide with what you’re doing.” But she was determined to find a way to beat her cancer.
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, this European woman came across a book by my good friend Bill Henderson, one of the smartest and wisest people I know when it comes to cancer treatment.
She tried Bill’s top, number one recommendation — a gentle treatment you can do at home for just $5.15 a day. What’s more, the cost goes down to $3.50 after six weeks because you just need a maintenance dose. And it even tastes good.
Not only has Wiltrude passed the five-year cancer survival mark, she’s survived for ten years. We just interviewed her recently for this publication. The radiologist who tests her every year told her, “You’re the only one with this kind of result.”
You can find out everything about Bill’s cancer treatment plan in our Special Report, How to Cure Almost Any Cancer at Home for $5.15 a Day. When I ask him about some of the treatments that top alternative doctors use, Bill sort of shrugs and says, “They’re fine, but why bother? My treatment works, you can do it yourself, and it costs practically nothing.”
He’s coached thousands of cancer patients with all different types and stages of cancer. Most of the people who follow the detailed, specific plan in this Special Report get over their cancer and live for years.
“Almost any kind of cancer is reversible,” says Bill. “I never give up on anyone.”
Study data presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology1 show that bankruptcy rates were nearly twice as high among cancer patients one year after diagnosis as among the general population.
The financial strain causes far too many desperately sick people to stop cancer treatments early. Worse still, some even decide not to pursue ANY treatment at all!
Soaring drug costs lead some people to stop taking prescription drugs altogether. For example, a USA Today story2 mentioned that a Memphis flight attendant with breast cancer planned to stop taking the drug Herceptin when her employer cut her salary 35%.
She felt forced to end her treatment a year early because her health plan co-pays had reached $800 a month—an amount more than her rent!
The costs associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment are incredibly high.
These out-of-pocket expenses can
TORPEDO your finances!
It’s impossible to give an exact dollar figure for out-of-pocket expenses because the circumstances are different for each patient. But for an idea of how pricey cancer treatment can be—consider the costs one prostate cancer patient shared on the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Survivors Network3:
“I went back and added up all of the original billed amounts from all of the doctors, hospitals, and labs, [including] the exam where they found the high PSA… second opinion from the radiation oncologist… CT and bone scans… two brief physicals… flu & pneumonia vaccinations…DaVinci surgery…four days in the hospital… and follow-ups.
I am 12 weeks out as of yesterday…[the bill total is] $66,157.30… I had asked my doctor what the real cost would be if I had to pay out of [my own]pocket…he speculated $45,000-$50,000 for any DaVinci, open, or radiation only. This was in a Baylor system hospital in the Dallas area… my hospital stand-alone bill was $34,000…”
Keep in mind that this patient spent the $66,000 in just 12 weeks. That figure does not include the costs in the following months of prescription medications, travel costs, lost wages, etc.
Fortunately he had insurance to cover the bulk of the diagnosis and treatment costs. But make no mistake—even for insured patients, cancer treatment costs are extremely high.
In a new study from Duke University Medical Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute4, 215 cancer patients with insurance coverage reported spending an average of $712 a month in out-of-pocket expenses.
But keep in mind this is just an average. And it’s a sure bet that insured patients’ monthly expenses can be much, MUCH higher…
For example, if a woman with breast cancer has insurance with high co-pays—she can expect to pay anywhere from $150-$200+ each week just for radiology visits!
Consider the situation of one breast cancer patient mentioned in a Reuter’s news report5:
Jean Holstein, 55 of Jackson, North Carolina, has Stage IV breast cancer. She has health insurance, but fears the co-payments to cover her $5,000 per month drug regimen, plus the $9,700 bimonthly diagnostic scans, will leave her broke.
If you think the monthly tab for Ms. Holstein’s cancer drugs is hefty—consider some newer drugs like Provenge™ that can cost $93,000 or more each year!
The nation’s bill for cancer is out of control
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI)6, 2010 cancer costs reached a staggering total of $124 billion in the United States. The group expects those costs to reach at least $158 billion by 2020!
The group found that breast cancer accounted for some of the highest costs, at about $16.5 billion. This was closely followed by colorectal cancer ($14 billion), lymphoma ($12 billion), lung cancer ($12 billion) and prostate cancer ($12 billion).
These account for a big share of the budget mostly because they’re the most common types of cancer. Most cancers — thyroid, for example — actually affect a pretty small number of people.
Those jaw-dropping cost estimates become even more shocking when you consider how much a bout with cancer might cost you personally.
As you can imagine, if insured patients are finding cancer treatment costs unmanageable…
…think about folks who are uninsured because of job layoffs—or those who have hit their lifetime coverage limits before they can benefit from these treatments…
It’s a sad fact that patients who already are dealing with the physical and emotional stress of cancer are also on the hook for a significant amount of their treatment costs.
These expenses vary widely depending on two factors:
1. The type of cancer you have
2. The insurance carrier and type of coverage carried
Here’s what you can do if you’re
worried about cancer costs…
You probably agree that your life is far too precious to choose ‘doing nothing’ as a plan of action. So what can you do to try to prevent cancer costs from spiraling out of control — especially if you or your loved one decide to stick with conventional cancer treatments?
Try to eliminate the “fear factor.” In other words, don’t be afraid to:
1. Ask for help—you might need to enlist a family member or friend to help you sort through information related to your diagnosis and treatment
2. Ask questions—especially relating to insurance co-pays, prescription costs and treatment regiments; talk to your doctor about total costs to expect and how you may get help in paying for the treatment
3. Contact insurance administrators—to understand the exact terms of your policy and to be clear on what is and isn’t covered; you’ll also want to keep detailed records in case you need to re-submit claims or appeal denials
4. Explore alternatives—there may be generic drugs that are less expensive or less costly alternative therapies that you could incorporate into your treatment plan
These are some of the thing you can do help manage the costs associated with conventional cancer treatments. The American Cancer Society also offers financial guidance that you can read online at www.cancer.org, or order by calling 1-800-227-2345. I don’t have a high opinion of the ACS, but if you’ve chosen the conventional route, this is one of the resources available. May as well check out whether they can help you save some money.
On the other hand, this is what I’d do. . .
Unless you just joined this newsletter, you already know that I recommend alternative cancer treatments for most people in most cases. The important point to remember is that conventional treatments are nearly useless for late-stage cancer — cancer that has spread from wherever it started to other parts of the body.
I don’t have a high opinion of conventional treatments for early stage cancer, either, but at least they work once in a while. But in the real world, most early stage patients don’t try alternatives. People only turn to alternatives when they’re told their case is hopeless.
I tell you sincerely, and in all honesty, I wouldn’t wait that long. If you won’t try alternatives for early stage, then you need to do so as soon as you know the cancer has metastasized — NOT after several rounds of chemo, when the doctor admits he’s played his last card.
Everything I’ve seen and everything I’ve learned about this subject in the last six years indicates you’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Conventional treatments almost certainly won’t work, while alternatives have a good track record.
If you choose to go to an alternative cancer clinic (which is what I recommend), the costs certainly aren’t free. They can be quite expensive. But they’re much lower than the cost of conventional treatments. In some cases your insurance will cover some of them. And they have the endearing feature that they often work. I don’t know about you, but I find that rather attractive.
If you simply can’t afford a clinic, some of the home treatments do work. I can’t give you numbers and statistics. The studies simply haven’t been done. But I’m very confident you have a better shot with the approach Bill Henderson describes in our Special Report How to Cure Almost Any Cancer at Home for $5.15 a Day, or the multiple home treatment suggestions from Tanya Harter Pierce in her softcover book Outsmart Your Cancer.
Both Tanya and Bill are people of the very highest integrity. They’re not trying to con you out of twenty bucks for a book. They’re trying to help you.
Cancer is a piece of major bad luck for your health. That goes without saying. Don’t let it turn into a financial disaster, too.
The ancient Egyptians came up with a simple home cancer treatment you may want to check out. If you missed this news last Wednesday, scroll down and take a look now.