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The cost of cancer

GrandmaJ's picture
Posts: 209
Joined: Nov 2009

 In 2009 when I was first diagnosed with BC, I was still working and had a good health insurance plan through my employer.

Now in 2014 diagnosed with mets to spine and rib.  I am now retired and  on Medicare and a supplemental insurance called Security Blue.  Guess I thought that would cover everything.  WRONG!   Now found out my Faslodex shots will cost me $500 each time I have them.  I got a bill today for $1600 for 3 shots.  How am I supposed to come up with an extra $500 a month?  Frown

Damn cancer.








New Flower
Posts: 4300
Joined: Aug 2009

How are tolerating the shots? 

Faslodex is very expensive, I am sorry that you have to pay $500 per  cycle. This year my total for deductible and co-insurance 3,800.00. They charged me about $1,200 per shot for the first three months untill I met my out of pocket maximum. Ask your insurance if there is a cap on expenses. Most plans should have out of pocket cap.


GrandmaJ's picture
Posts: 209
Joined: Nov 2009

Tolerating the shots fine.  No symptoms except for some soreness at shot site !!! 


My cap is $6000.  I plan to call Astra Zeneca on Mon, but I'm sure they'll tell me we make too much money (both of us living on SS) !!   Yeah, we are so rich ........

CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4017
Joined: Oct 2009

I would start by calling AstraZeneca and seeing if they can help.  Here is a link: http://www.faslodex.com/support/breast-cancer-patients.aspx

Breast cancer sucks in sooo many ways!!!  Good luck dear one!!!

GrandmaJ's picture
Posts: 209
Joined: Nov 2009


I did contact Astra Zeneca and I do qualify for assistance.  Had Dr sign papers and sent them in.  Hope it doesn't take too long to hear from them.



Posts: 6068
Joined: Oct 2010

That is awful..so sorry you are going through this...

Posts: 3599
Joined: Aug 2009

The more I see about how people are treated by their insurances, the happier I am that my care is through VA. I know there are problem for some, but I can only say from my personal experiences, I could not have asked for better/more timely care than I have gotten with VA.  All my needed appts at the VA Facility have been within time appropriate times.  I have been outsourced twice (IBC almost 5yrs ago and detached retina almost a yr ago) which I was immediately sent to private Drs as my Facility could not handle them.  As I have no Service Connected Disability, I do have co-pay to pay but is easiably doable.

I thought 'insurance' was supposed to be easier to handle 'today' but does not seem to be true at all for the vast majority.

Sharon G's picture
Sharon G
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2014

Please check out copays.org.  Pharmaceutical companies can only make an 80% profit, any more and it has to be put in programs to help out people with regards to drugs that they are taking for certain conditions.  Breast cancer was one of them.  They don't always have money in the categories, but when they do, you may be able to get it for your shots.  I was lucky that my Neulasta shot ($6000 if you don't have insurance) was covered and I got a refund for what I paid out for it.

I am not saying you'll be able to get something from copays.org, but it's worth looking into.

Good luck!

camul's picture
Posts: 2295
Joined: Dec 2010

Once I went on medicarr and m work nsrance became a secondary policy everything changed!.. My doctors.started pushing hospice, basically, all treatment stopped except coumadin.
In 2011 my out of.pocket expense's were.close.to 12k, 7k in 2012, 2013 droped.down to btwn 5-6k and this year us less. My copays for.meds s a huge.factor in reducing my out of pockrt.and my new.dr. Does.not do as.many scans and mri's etc.
I stull want everyone to check out the cash price at cost co b4 using you prescription co pay. I get 13 vit d' for.17. this is costco cash price. My 3 month co pay for it thru ins cov is $30. I pay 7. And change for one of my hyrod for 3 mo. Ins copay is $30. My synthroid for 3 mo is around $27. 3 mo of copays are.$90. MY fentanyl patch is 10. @ month for the brand name wih my co-pay, and $50. a.month co-pay for generic. I have saved with the.coumadin and everything about.$400.+ every 3 months on prescriptions. ai ask b4 tests if they are necessary as far as treating cancer. Not all are necessary. I was told on a couple of them that they cant get the same info off a bone or ct.that they were going to do anyways!
the cost f.treating cancer is astronomical, especiall when tests are being done that are not necessary! M new dr is seeing me everyother month to save me a 400. Charge that is only partially paid by medicare and nothing from my ins. but I can see the nurses for much less and if we need him, if he is there he will pop his head in at no chg, and if it is something major yhen it would be reduced? They are also taking off a percentage of the bill to go with my income SSDI, which I am grateful for. At first I was embarrassed to ask, but I know haow hard I have worked and that I never asked anyone for any help. Now if I need it and there is a program to help, I will contact them.
It still gets me that money is determining my treatment now, ever since the day I started Medicare! I started working at 14, anw was 53 when I could no longer wotk! I worked alwas full-time, and usually had a part-time job also!
Never believed that in the us., money would determine my care!

GlowMore's picture
Posts: 793
Joined: Feb 2008

I am on Medicare and I have the Medigap "C" Policy with Health Care Insurance Company (used to be AARP HC Ins)....  My Medigap pays 100% of what Medicare does not pay. My chemo and scans etc radiation and all that were covered completely.........but now with ObamaCare....and should the cancer return I am not sure what would be paid for....I'm almost afraid to call to find out if there is a Lifetime Cap of some kind.  My Medigap policy even covers my deductible.....but I will say that it is pretty expensive... $185 per month in addition to what they take out of my Social Security Check for Medicare.   I have had this for over 12 years now and have not had to pay anything.  I remember when I got my Neulasta shot....it was a new drug in 2002  and that one shot a month alone cost about $2500 then.........I read the other day that one neulasta shot is in the thousands now...... is that true?   Does anyone know the cost of the neulasta shots now?

GlowMore's picture
Posts: 793
Joined: Feb 2008


Posts: 45
Joined: May 2013

Mine were 2800$ each, but i'm in Canada, so that probably doesn't help much. 

Pixie Dust's picture
Pixie Dust
Posts: 351
Joined: Jan 2014

Glowmore, I had Neulasta Shots through out Feb and May and they were 6,500. My primary insurance BCBS would not pay nothing on it. My secondary insurance Medicare paid all of 4 injections. Its terrible that meds cost that much. All we are trying to do is stay alive while all they want is our money which we cannot afford if people cannot pay or have good insurance.

GlowMore's picture
Posts: 793
Joined: Feb 2008

Yes it is terrible the cost.............   but I will say that these shots are miracle shots....just a shame they cost so much.



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