Those affected by a diagnosis of mesothelioma, be it the patient or their family and loved ones, are often faced with a number of challenges, emotions and issues as they work together through the process. Frequently, the emotions accompanying the diagnosis of terminal cancer can be overwhelming and they can be further strained by other stressors such as the financial burden created from the high cost of treatment.
Unfortunately, there are serious financial issues that patients and families must manage in this situation and often very quickly. Between the high cost of treatment, and the secondary costs associated with travel, short-term housing arrangements, and other incidental costs, the total cost of treating mesothelioma cancer can accrue quickly. As a result, families must make educated decisions with regard to insurance premiums, wealth realignment, and other important factors. Financial Planners, accountants and estate planning professionals can often provide the guidance and support that families need to make these important decisions.
The cost of treatment for malignant mesothelioma is very expensive. Currently the only FDA-approved chemotherapy protocol for malignant mesothelioma is a combination of the drug ALIMTA® and cisplatin. Chemotherapy drugs, particularly branded ones, are costly and not all insurance companies will agree to cover the costs associated with this form of treatment. Surgery for mesothelioma is still somewhat experimental in nature and is not curative. Palliative surgeries associated with symptom relief however, often involve both in-patient and outpatient hospital visits for which costs can accumulate over the course of treatment. Radiation therapy for mesothelioma is often used in conjunction with chemotherapy and these sessions are costly.
Beyond the significant costs associated with clinical mesothelioma treatments like surgery, mesothelioma chemotherapy, and radiation, there are also secondary costs associated with obtaining the treatment. Just as there are only a few top mesothelioma experts in the United States who specialize in mesothelioma treatment, there are also only a select few cancer centers equipped with the clinical infrastructure to serve mesothelioma patients and their families. Obtaining the best possible treatment often involves travel to one of the major cancer center hubs at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, or Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. While these are all located in large cities, the clinical populations who they service come from across the country for care. Travel and temporary lodging for patients, families, and loved ones in the vicinity of these major cancer centers can add significantly to the total cost of mesothelioma treatment.
Perhaps the most significant secondary cost is the loss of income while undergoing mesothelioma treatment. Mesothelioma is an aggressive and difficult-to-treat malignancy and effective treatment regimens must be likewise aggressive and extensive to obtain efficacy. This often involves being interred at a hospital or cancer center for months while undergoing chemotherapy, surgery, and dealing with associated side effects under the care of specialists. Patients who are receiving treatment for mesothelioma are largely completely unable to work and provide for their family, leaving a financial gap on top of other costs associated with care.
The majority of mesothelioma patients have been exposed to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was used for decades in a number of different industrial materials. Asbestos is now recognized as the singular known cause of mesothelioma and has as such been classified as a known carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Unfortunately, court documents now indicate that asbestos manufacturers were well aware of the hazards of asbestos and continued to expose millions of innocent victims to the material. Many asbestos disease victims have successfully filed suit against asbestos manufacturers to obtain financial compensation for their injuries. Our job is to ensure that all victims of asbestos exposure collect all that they are entitled to.
Mesothelioma lawyers can provide assistance in the following areas to help ease the financial burden that patients face:
Mesothelioma Lawsuits – an attorney can help file a lawsuit on your behalf against the companies responsible for producing the products that were responsible for your injury.
VA Benefits – If you are a veteran a mesothelioma lawyer can help you apply for any VA benefits that you may be eligible for. Additional financial assistance for veterans is also available.
Social Security Benefits – Lawyers are well versed in the benefits that mesothelioma patients may receive to help cover the loss of income that the illness causes. A mesothelioma lawyer can help you apply for and receive the social security benefits that you may be eligible for.
To find out more about financial compensation for asbestos-related disease or injuries, please fill out the contact form on the right side of this page. We'll rush you a comprehensive mesothelioma and asbestos exposure information packet at no cost.Sources
National Cancer Institute – Costs of Cancer Care
Texas Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors