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Major healthcare costs associated with asbestos-related colorectal cancer

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on July 01st, 2020

Most people, when they receive a diagnosis of colorectal cancer are left with no idea what their financial situation would be. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR), each passing year, cancer is going to cost more money than any other disease.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the US, and about 9% and 8% of new cases occur in men and women respectively. Thus, colorectal cancer care greatly contributes to the total expenditure of $125 billion on cancer care each year in the US. In the year 2016, the total health care costs for the treatment of colorectal cancer amounted to $124,425. The average monthly costs for first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer reach $12,345 and the average lifetime monthly costs for systemic treatment amounts to $7,883.

Costs for colorectal cancer care vary according to the modes of treatment

The total costs for colorectal cancer are mainly attributed to the early-stage treatment, which includes monitoring, surveillance, and surgery as well as the terminal stage treatment that requires hospitalization, chemotherapy, and supportive care. However, each patient's cost to treat colorectal cancer may be different. The costs involved in colorectal cancer care and management vary and depend on factors such as:

  • Your age
  • The stage of cancer at diagnosis
  • The distant spread of cancer is present or not
  • Types of medical services/treatment
  • Length of treatment
  • Location of the treatment
  • Choice of the health care provider
  • Insurance coverage

The major healthcare costs to be considered in the management of colorectal cancer include:

  • Laboratory tests
  • Hospital and clinic visits
  • Medications and prescription drugs
  • Treatment
  • Surgeries
  • Home health services

The costs of diagnostic laboratory tests for colorectal cancer are high because multiple tests will be needed to confirm a diagnosis of colorectal cancer as misdiagnosis is common in asbestos-related cancers. Once the diagnosis of colorectal cancer is established, the treatment plan will be worked out, and here are the average costs of different treatment techniques:

  • Chemotherapy: $45, 997 in a doctor's office and $46,220 in a hospital
  • Radiation treatment: $23,745 for intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), $15, 882 for 3D-based conformal radiation therapy.
  • Surgery (colectomy): $31,738

Apart from this, hospitalization cost could reach up to $37,369 and visits to specialist doctors would sum up to $34,582, which includes administration of chemotherapy.

Colorectal cancer care can be divided into three phases, and the costs per month include:

  • Diagnostic phase: $16,895
  • Treatment phase: $ 8,891
  • Terminal phase: $27,554

Additional costs of colorectal cancer varies from $20,000 to $50,000. These are secondary expenses and are costs related to the treatment including:

  • Travel and accommodation costs: In cases where the cancer treatment center is far away from the place you are staying.
  • Follow-up care costs: Post-treatment check-up, regular prescription medicines, screening tests, and psychological therapy.
  • Financial costs: Loss of income as a result of the inability to work and piling up debts.

Legal compensation can help alleviate your financial burden

Most patients with colorectal cancer spend a lot of time and energy figuring out financial problems even before the treatment begins. Patients face financial struggles while undergoing expensive cancer care. If you have developed colorectal cancer as a result of previous asbestos exposure on the job, you are eligible to file a claim with the asbestos trust funds. To know your legal rights to compensation, consult a lawyer specializing in asbestos-related claims. The legal claim should be filed as early as possible after you have received the diagnosis of colorectal cancer. We have a team of experienced lawyers who can evaluate your case and help you receive the rightful financial compensation you deserve.