One-Quarter of Patients With Gynecologic Cancer Cannot Afford Medical Care

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Nearly half of patients were denied insurance coverage for a recommended treatment.
Nearly half of patients were denied insurance coverage for a recommended treatment.
The following article features coverage from the Society of Gynecologic Oncology 2018 meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor's conference coverage.

More than one-quarter of patients with a gynecologic malignancy are unable to cover the cost of their medical care, according to a presentation at the 2018 Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting on Women's Cancer in New Orleans.1

Financial toxicity can affect patient quality of life, adherence to medicine regimens, and clinical outcomes. For this survey-based study, researchers evaluated whether financial toxicity poses a major issue for patients with a gynecologic malignancy undergoing/after chemotherapy.

Sixty patients were included, among whom the mean age was 61 years (range, 30-84), 20% were African American, 56% were non-Hispanic white, 21% were Hispanic, and 1% were of Asian descent. Patients completed a 41-item survey, including a Comprehensive Score for Financial Toxicity (COST) measure, which assesses financial toxicity with a score range of 0 to 44, where 22 or higher indicates financial toxicity.

COST scores of 22 or more were noted in 41% of patients, and 44% of these patients were non-adherent to medication or missed appointments because of financial concerns. Patients with COST scores of 22 or less did not report financially motivated non-adherence.

About a third (31%) of patients had an income decrease post-diagnosis, with 8% of patients reporting a loss of half their income or more. Ten patients went into debt to pay for treatment.

Nearly half (46%) of patients were denied insurance coverage for a recommended treatment. Twenty-eight percent of patients could not pay for their care.

African American patients were, furthermore, 14 times more likely to experience financial toxicity than white patients (odds ratio, 14).

The authors concluded that many “patients with gynecologic malignancies experience significant financial toxicity, likely worsened by treatment costs and decreased earning potential. Patients experiencing financial toxicity are at high risk of medical nonadherence because of financial constraints.”

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor's coverage of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology 2018 meeting by visiting the conference page.

Reference

  1. Webster EM, Chatterjee S, Gabor L, et al. Evaluation of financial toxicity in women with gynecologic malignancies: a cross-sectional study. Oral presentation at: 2018 Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting on Women's Cancer; March 24-27, 2018; New Orleans, LA.

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