Financial Toxicity Facts

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in a survey of more than 10,000 patients, found that roughly one in three families reported significant financial burden as a consequence of medical care.1


In a longitudinal survey of patients with non-metastatic breast cancer, 33% of survey respondents reported a decline in financial status in the period following their initial diagnosis, with a significant minority of patients reporting out-of-pocket spending of more than $5,000 per year.2


Approximately 17% of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia with higher copayments discontinued tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) during the first 180 days of treatment.3


The degree to which cancer caused financial problems was the strongest independent predictor of quality of life when compared to various other factors including age, race, education, insurance status, and family income.4


80% of medical oncologists think it is important to be explicit about the potential financial impact of treatment choices.5


81% of academic medical oncologists agreed that out-of-pocket costs had the potential to influence treatment recommendations, but only 30% reported changing treatment recommendations because of financial considerations.6


Patients reporting “a lot” of financial distress were more likely to be non-white, female, and younger than 61 years old. These patients were also more likely to have less than a four-year college education and a total household income lower than $35,000 per year.4


  1. Armstrong K RK, McMurphy S et al. Racial/ethnic differences in physician distrust in the United States. . Am J Public Health 2007;97:1283–1289.
  2. Jagsi R, Pottow JA, Griffith KA, et al. Long-term financial burden of breast cancer: experiences of a diverse cohort of survivors identified through population-based registries. Journal of Clinical Oncology : Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 2014;32(12):1269-1276.

  3. Neugut AI, Subar M, Wilde ET, et al. Association between prescription co-payment amount and compliance with adjuvant hormonal therapy in women with early-stage breast cancer. ournal of Clinical Oncology : Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 2011;29(18):2534-2542.

  4. Fenn KM, Evans SB, McCorkle R, et al. Impact of Financial Burden of Cancer on Survivors' Quality of Life. Journal of Oncology Practice. 2014;10(5):332-338.

  5. Schrag D, Hanger M. Medical oncologists' views on communicating with patients about chemotherapy costs: a pilot survey. Journal of Clinical Oncology : Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.  2007;25(2):233-237.

  6. Nadler E, Eckert B, Neumann PJ. Do oncologists believe new cancer drugs offer good value? The Oncologist. 2006;11(2):90-95.