Stress, Treatment and Affordability: Resources to Help Patients Cope

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Many people experience financial hardship after being diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Where can families dealing with cancer find financial assistance? Watch as Hildy Dillon shares how the Cancer Support Community can help patients cope with the expense of CLL care.

This program is sponsored through a grant from Janssen Oncology and Pharmacyclics LLC. These organizations have no editorial control. It is produced solely by Patient Power.

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Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:

So, Hildy, the Cancer Support Community has really helped people a lot, not just with the access issues, but also coping just with the stress.

Hildy Dillon:                   

Right.

Andrew Schorr:               

And I think Dr. Toomey was referring to the stress of her patients. You wanna—you’ve been given this terrifying diagnosis of cancer, there’s a promise of modern medicine helping you, and you’re trying to say, “Well, how can you cope with this in your life?” The treatments and the affordability, right?

Hildy Dillon:                   

Right.

Andrew Schorr:               

And you all are very devoted to helping people with that.

Hildy Dillon:                   

Yeah, so the—at the Cancer Support Community through our affiliates and also through our helpline, we do distress screening. And the reason for that is because whether you’re just initially diagnosed, or you’ve been living with your disease for many years, the distress that goes along with this diagnosis—for the patient and the caregiver—does impact your access to therapies, and also adherence, adherence to therapies.

Andrew Schorr:               

Sure. Financial toxicity.

Hildy Dillon:                   

Yeah, yeah. And what we heard here about patients making really some dreadful choices in their lives to be able to afford their therapies, we all hear this all the time. And the most common call that we have—both in our community affiliates and also through our national helpline—is people that need help with financial navigation. When you’re diagnosed, I always say that when we wanna buy a car in America, or you wanna buy a home in America, you research, and because you know what you can afford per month.

When you're diagnosed with a devastating disease, or a life-threatening disease, there isn't anybody who can tell you, or who will tell you what this is going to cost you per month in the long run. And it could be the difference between a meal on your table, or a home, shelter; people just…$20,000 a year is a lot of money to people that…

Andrew Schorr:               

To anybody!

Dr. Larry Saltzman:        

To anybody!

Hildy Dillon:                   

…or to anyone, and we don’t plan for this in our lives. People assume that if they have insurance that they may have to pay something for their care, but they are…until you get sick you don’t know what your insurance doesn’t cover.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on September 9, 2019