Crowdfunding and Younger Cancer Patients

Financial toxicity is common among all cancer patients, regardless of socioeconomic background. According to a multicenter study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, financial toxicity is most detrimental for younger cancer patients. Young adults are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured, to avoid care due to cost, and incur debt or file bankruptcy.

In this study, researchers uncovered three major themes from interviews with young cancer patients:

  • Cancer care was unexpectedly expensive and overly burdensome.
  • Few conversations about the costs were held with oncologists.
  • Crowdfunding sites often helped but did not completely relieve the financial burden.

Authors of the study concluded that it is imperative for the oncology/hematology team to consult and advise younger cancer patients about the costs and insurance options available to them to help reduce their out-of-pocket costs and reliance on crowd.