National survey finds most cancer patients and survivors worry about medical debt

An alarming 73% of cancer patients and survivors are worried about their ability to pay for cancer treatment, according to a new national survey from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

The survey, conducted in February 2022, examines how medical debt impacts cancer patients and survivors. Other key findings include:

  • 51% of patients and survivors reported having medical debt resulting from their cancer care. This debt was often long-term with significant impacts.
  • Medical debt caused many patients to limit medical care: 45% of people with medical debt said they have delayed or avoided medical care for serious issues, and 62% have delayed or avoided medical care for minor issues.
  • The cost burden associated with cancer care is not experienced equally. African Americans and patients living in states without Medicaid expansion were among those more likely to have cancer-related medical debt.


Increasing access to affordable, high-quality cancer care is an important part of the Wisconsin Cancer Plan 2020-2030.See how this connects to the WI Cancer Plan

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