Financial Impact

Like any type of cancer, bladder cancer can have a very significant financial impact on patients.1 Many patients diagnosed with bladder cancer are concerned about the cost of bladder cancer and its treatment. One study found that the average cost of bladder cancer among patients surveyed was $65,158. On average, the study found that 60% of the costs ($39,393) were due to surveillance and treatment of recurrences. 30% of the costs ($19,811) were due to complications from bladder cancer, the study reported.

What factors influence the total financial impact?

There are several different factors that influence the cost of bladder cancer for patients.2 These include:

  • The type of bladder cancer treatment that the patient requires
  • The length of bladder cancer treatment that the patient requires
  • Where the patient receives bladder cancer treatment and how far the patient needs to travel
  • The patient’s health insurance coverage
  • Whether the patient has supplemental health insurance

It is important for patients to think about all of these factors when considering how they will cover all of these costs. If you are feeling unsure or overwhelmed trying to make a financial plan to cover the costs of bladder cancer, talk with the healthcare providers on your cancer care team. They can recommend resources and support help to patients to better navigate these financial concerns, to create realistic predictions of costs, and to develop a financial plan. They can also advise patients about possible opportunities for receiving financial assistance to cover some of these costs.

What types of financial costs do patients incur?

Costs related to care and treatment are largely affected by a patient’s insurance coverage and insurance co-pays, which is the amount the patient must pay out of pocket.1 The overall costs of care and treatment can vary widely for different patients, for example, due to the type and duration of treatment needed. These types of costs may include:

Other potential costs

There are other types of costs that patients need to consider as part of financial planning and budgeting.1 These costs are not always as obvious as costs related to care and treatment. For example, many patients must deal with increased transportation costs during treatment, such as fuel, parking, public transportation, or airfare costs incurred when traveling to healthcare or treatment appointments.

Other potential costs to consider include:

  • Increased cost of living due to treatment and surveillance
  • Expenses such as childcare or elder care during the times when a patient receives treatment
  • Reduced income due to inability to work as much due to treatment
  • At-home caregivers, home health aides, or home nursing care for patients
  • Longer-term in-patient nursing care at specialized facilities
  • Hospice care
  • Financial planning costs or help in preparing income taxes to receive the appropriate deductions and benefits
  • Legal assistance in dealing with employers or writing a will
Written by Anna Nicholson | Last review date: September 2017.
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