There are a number of financial costs associated with cancer, from treatment and care costs to disruption of employment. These difficulties have been associated with stress and reduced health-related quality of life.
Despite this, there have been few systematic studies regarding if and how physicians are dealing with breast cancer patients going through such financial difficulties.
Researchers at the University of Michigan aimed to investigate how medical professionals have been dealing with the financial burden their patients are facing.
The study involved surveys of 2,502 breast cancer patients and their physicians — including 370 surgeons, 306 medical oncologists, and 169 radiation oncologists.
All were asked to fill out questionnaires regarding the financial burden associated with their patients' conditions. Physicians were asked questions such as, "how often does someone in your primary practice discuss the financial burden of cancer treatments with your patients?”