Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Facts and Financial Impact of Brain Tumors

According to the National Brain Tumor Society over 688,000 people are living with primary tumors of the brain and central nervous system in the nation.  Of these 138,000 are malignant and 550,000 are nonmalignant tumors.  That number has increased from 612,000 in 2004.  Metastatic tumors originate in other parts of the body and then may spread to the spinal cord or brain but primary tumors of the CNS originate in the brain or spinal cord.  Brain tumors are usually treated by surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.  There has not been much progress in finding new treatments. 

The American Cancer Society's statistical figures indicate that about 23,100 malignant tumors of the brain or spinal cord will be diagnosed in 2013, in the U.S. this figure includes both adults and children.  In adults a meningioma is the most prevalent type of brain tumor and a glioblastoma is the most common and deadliest primary malignant brain tumor.  The second leading cause of cancer deaths in children are brain tumors. 

In a 2006/07 survey study The National Brain Tumor Foundation found that many patients that are diagnosed with a brain tumor undergo deep financial burdens.  The financial impact can be felt by the whole family as many tumor survivors may not be able to return to work.  Medication costs and high insurance premiums were a major concern.  Even when patients were out of treatment they were still spending anywhere from $250-$1000 in out of pocket expenses each month.  Although 91% of the patients were employed before being diagnosed only 33%  were employed after being diagnosed.  Caregivers continued working in larger numbers only 16% quit their jobs.  There was a 300% increase in the amount of people reporting to be in the lowest income bracket post-diagnosis.  Over the long term it appears that few were prepared for the high costs of brain tumor treatment and beyond.  Some patients and their families had to sell their cars, take on credit card debt, cash in on retirement savings and even sell their homes.

Patients with brain tumors should feel free to ask social workers at their medical institution for assistance in regards to their financial inquiries.  The National Brain Tumor Society lists a few organizations that can give some financial support such as the American Cancer Society.


convexity meningioma
Convexity Meningioma


No comments:

Post a Comment