[Senior Safe & Sound is hosting this guest blog from the Pleural Mesothelioma Center.]
Medical treatment can be costly. Let’s look at one example. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that is diagnosed typically in seniors after long-before occupational exposure to asbestos.
Specialty mesothelioma cancer centers, which provide the best chances of survival, could include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, all of which can come with astronomical price tags.
Good health insurance won’t make the diagnosis disappear, but it should make specialized treatment affordable, giving you every chance to survive.
Health plans today vary greatly. They have become a complex, even controversial topic, but they typically are designed to protect you against financial ruin if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other cancer.
Although it’s difficult to accurately determine cost of mesothelioma treatment, its therapies often mirror those of lung cancer.
Here are some estimates based on the costs of lung cancer treatments:

  • Aggressive surgery for mesothelioma cancer can range from $40,000-$80,000.
  • An eight-week chemotherapy cycle has been estimated at $30,000.
  • Radiation will depend on number and frequency of treatments, but the costs can be anywhere from $10,000-$50,000.

Even the best health insurance is unlikely to cover everything. Everyone’s insurance is different. The deductible amount and the copays will vary, depending upon the plan.
It will be important to talk to your insurance carrier about many issues, including the possible need for pre-authorization to see a specialist who might be outside your network.
There can be considerable hidden costs that go beyond the cost of procedures and doctor visits. For those without local access to a specialty center, travel and lodging costs add to the financial burden.
If the patient is still working, there will be time away from work. Or a caregiver that still is working may be forced to cut back on time spent working, which may add to the financial stress.
Like many cancers, mesothelioma can be cost prohibitive for a family without health insurance.
There are places, though, where a patient can turn to get help.
Help for everyone can be found at the Pleural Mesothelioma Center. The Patient Advocates at the Pleural Mesothelioma Center can help you find medical specialists, enroll in clinical trials, connect with the VA, find an attorney who specializes in asbestos cases, or answer any questions you might have regarding mesothelioma.
Some charities often provide financial assistance to patients who may include free travel or lodging to help ease the burden.
Tim Povtak is a content writer for the Pleural Mesothelioma Center.