“I wish I knew, what I know now.”
Often, the first thing you feel when diagnosed with breast cancer is shock. What does this mean for me? How will it change my life?
There are many other thoughts and feelings that come to mind soon after. Many people feel confronted about dealing with the unknown and facing months of treatment and side effects. A lot of people also worry about telling their family and friends, and how they will cope.
There is one thing that doesn’t get raised enough: how much will it all cost?
Help BCNA reduce the financial and emotional burden of breast cancer. Together we can change this!
It’s something Lisa wishes someone had talked to her about when she was first diagnosed in 2012 at the age of 45. She had prepared herself for all the appointments and months of treatment, but she wasn’t expecting to be tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.
“I had two kids and a mortgage, my income disappeared, the medical bills started mounting up and our savings were devoured. Finances became an all-consuming worry at a time when I was depleted and vulnerable.”
Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) works tirelessly to ensure all Australians affected by breast cancer receive the very best care, treatment and support. Our free services, like our Helpline, direct callers to the information they need at the time of their diagnosis, right through their treatment and care.
What tests do I need? Do I go public or private? Which specialist should I choose? Can I access the best medicines?
Having access to trusted and accurate information right from the start of your breast cancer experience can help you make informed decisions about your health and lessen the financial impact.
“Despite conversations around patient decision-making, such as choice of surgeon or treatment, the cancer pathway did not arm me with the information or the confidence to negotiate prices with specialists about the delivery of my health care.”
“We were about $20,000 out-of-pocket for the treatment and all the extras. That’s on top of the thousands of dollars in lost wages.”
Like so many others, Lisa was unable to continue to work while undergoing treatment but that didn’t stop the bills from piling up.
“Even though I had private health cover, the costs kept coming. You still pay an excess for the hospital stays, and gaps for the surgeons and the anesthetists."
There were also the day-to-day costs like public transport, parking and buying medications, bandages and new bras. You’re paying for all that yourself and it starts to add up."
By the end of today, another 57 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Many of them will face the same financial challenges Lisa did.
Donate today to help BCNA ensure those diagnosed and their families have the information and support they need to help lessen the financial impact of breast cancer.