The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
Are survivors who report cancer-related financial problems more likely to forgo or delay medical care?
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2013
Copyright © 2013 American Cancer Society
Volume 119, Issue 20, pages 3710–3717, 15 October 2013
How to Cite
Kent, E. E., Forsythe, L. P., Yabroff, K. R., Weaver, K. E., de Moor, J. S., Rodriguez, J. L. and Rowland, J. H. (2013), Are survivors who report cancer-related financial problems more likely to forgo or delay medical care?. Cancer, 119: 3710–3717. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28262
- Issue published online: 4 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 10 APR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 26 JAN 2013
- health disparities;
- access to care;
- financial burden
Financial problems caused by cancer and its treatment can substantially affect survivors and their families and create barriers to seeking health care.
The authors identified cancer survivors diagnosed as adults (n = 1556) from the nationally representative 2010 National Health Interview Survey. Using multivariable logistic regression analyses, the authors report sociodemographic, clinical, and treatment-related factors associated with perceived cancer-related financial problems and the association between financial problems and forgoing or delaying health care because of cost. Adjusted percentages using the predictive marginals method are presented.
Cancer-related financial problems were reported by 31.8% (95% confidence interval, 29.3%-34.5%) of survivors. Factors found to be significantly associated with cancer-related financial problems in survivors included younger age at diagnosis, minority race/ethnicity, history of chemotherapy or radiation treatment, recurrence or multiple cancers, and shorter time from diagnosis. After adjustment for covariates, respondents who reported financial problems were more likely to report delaying (18.3% vs 7.4%) or forgoing overall medical care (13.8% vs 5.0%), prescription medications (14.2% vs 7.6%), dental care (19.8% vs 8.3%), eyeglasses (13.9% vs 5.8%), and mental health care (3.9% vs 1.6%) than their counterparts without financial problems (all P < .05).
Cancer-related financial problems are not only disproportionately represented in survivors who are younger, members of a minority group, and have a higher treatment burden, but may also contribute to survivors forgoing or delaying medical care after cancer. Cancer 2013;119:3710–3717. © 2013 American Cancer Society.