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Options for financing cancer treatment?

aries75
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2003

I have a friend who's pretty much run out of options as far as paying for her treatment goes (she's in the advanced stages of metastatic breast and liver cancer).

So, I'd like to know if there are any organizations (preferably in Canada, or not restricted to US patients) that might be able to help (e.g. provide low-cost financing, etc).

She's tried to get bank loans but they haven't been approved due to how ill she is. If anyone knows about alternative methods of financing, I'd really appreciate any info.

ryley
Posts: 55
Joined: Apr 2003

Wow, the financial aspect of cancer, especially the type your friend has, is mind-boggling to say the least. I'm not sure what Canada has in the way of public service programs, but some American equivalents might be The Legal Aid Society; Hospices; The American Cancer Society; getting into a drug trial; or just sitting down with doctor hospital and setting up a payment plan no matter how trivial it may be (though I have to assume she has already tried this to no avail). You and her friends/family could provide a fund-raising for her with donated entertainment. Tell her plight to a newspaper, sometimes the media pressure can cause the medical community to do unusual things.

I'm sorry I can't be of more help. I don't know any international agencies, but The American Cancer Society may know of some.

Good luck, and I will be praying for you and your friend.

Ryley

ryley
Posts: 55
Joined: Apr 2003

I did a little research on the internet and came up with two places in Canada that could have some information. I don't know what province your friend is in, but using a browser and searching for "canadian social services cancer" comes up with quite a few places to check.

Here are the two I thought might help:

www.cancer.ca (this is the Canadian Cancer Society - there is a services directory and a advocacy area)

http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/RS/VancouverCentre/FinancialInformation/PeopleonSocialAssistance.htm

(this link above is the BC Cancer Agency. It helps with people on social assistance and also instructs you to apply with the Canadian Cancer Society for financial assistance with treatments)

Hope this little bit of info helps, but like I said there is more out there that your friend or you could look up if these don't pan out.

Sending many good wishes your way.

Ryley

zgill
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2003

Try Cancercare.org they also will send a invaluable resource book - everything from medical to financial
They also give out grants for treatment goodluck

geral
Posts: 132
Joined: Sep 2002

Hi,

I'm sorry to hear about your friend's health and on top of dealing with cancer, she has financial issues. The financial issues I can relate to.

I live in the USA. Our utility company provides assistance to some, so maybe you could contact her utility co. Possibly, Canada has a housing administration who could help with her rent or mortgage. Our government offers food stamps to low income/disabled to help pay for groceries. The ACS and Red Cross offer transportation for medical appts.

My church in my hometown (an hour away)helped me, and I haven't been an active member there for years. Many churches offer their services to those in need even if they've never attended there. All you have to do is ask.

Please tell your friend I wish her the best. I'm fortunate that my cancer is not as advanced as hers, but I, too, have been dealing with financial issues since diagnosis almost 3 yrs. ago.

If she is not already receiving help with her prescription costs check out the info I posted previously on Patient Assistance Programs (PAP). Just go to the bottom of this screen and search on (PAP).

She's lucky to have such a caring friend as you.

Take care,
Geral

aries75
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2003

Thanks very much for your replies and suggestions. Actually, her community did a great deal as far as fundraising went...but it's a small town in Atlantic Canada, and, in spite of their tremendous generousity, only half her costs could be covered.

One reason it wound up being so expensive (i.e. well over $60,000 Cdn) is because she chose to go to one of those Mexican clinics. I'm highly skeptical as to whether it did any good or not...and if it's pretty much failed, she would need to look to (and pay for) something else.

The only options I can think of now are radiofrequency ablation or cytoluminescent therapy (offered at European clinics). The former would likely be easier to pursue since it's offered at US institutions.

She has health insurance but that would only cover conventional treatment in Canada (and she's at a stage where that wouldn't do any good).

I'll check the websites you've all suggested, but if you can think of anything else by all means let me know :)

Thanks again.

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