Copays, deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses, transportation, suspended income — many in cancer treatment face serious financial decisions throughout their experience. Even those in remission often continue to face the long-term financial damage that a bout with breast cancer can create.
The team at the breast cancer non-profit Pink Fund has witnessed this financial instability undermine both current income and future savings …over and over again. The fiscal strain doesn’t just come from the cancer itself or the often-harsh treatments required to beat it. It also stems from the relentless, crushing burden of living life.
The Budgetary Burden of Breast Cancer
It’s no secret that breast cancer is an expensive condition to address. Medically speaking, the costs are astronomical.
BreastCancer.org claimed it was the most expensive form of cancer care in 2019, with patients collectively paying $3.14 billion in out-of-pocket expenses. In 2020, CNBC reported that the average cost of treatment was between $20,000 and $100,000. In 2022, Bankrate put the average cost of treatment per stage at over $85,000.
But the costs don’t stop in the hospital or the specialist’s office.
Many challenging side effects come with a battle with cancer. For instance, Pink Fund reports that 73% of breast cancer patients consider altering or even skipping their treatment. The breast cancer non-profit adds that many of these individuals take action on this consideration, too. 21% lower their medication intake from prescribed levels. 37% reduce their spending on basic living expenses like housing.
The organization adds that, despite the aggressive approach to reducing expenses, 62% of cancer patients are still in debt from their treatment, with over half of them owing more than $10,000.
These issues are often quietly cloaked in the guise of daily life. And yet, they subtly undermine each individual’s quality of life and add mental and physical strain to those who are already fighting for their very lives. This is the motivation behind Pink Fund’s “ Eyes Up Here” campaign designed to educate the public on the part of the fight that impacts treatment adherence and survivorship outcomes.
Pink Fund Launches the 2023 “All Eyes Up Here” Campaign
Pink Fund is a non-profit that the passionate world-shaker Molly MacDonald founded in 2006. It provides targeted 90-day non-medical financial aid for those with a breast cancer diagnosis. This funding helps cover basic living expenses and maintains the most positive quality of life possible during a turbulent and unsettling time.
This year, Pink Fund is launching its “ Eyes Up Here” campaign to fund its critical work in the breast cancer space. The initiative runs throughout the year with the mission of shedding more light on the prevalence of breast cancer and its unexpected impact on daily budgets.
This year’s event is also targeted at finding new donors and partners for the venerable charity in a space where donations are becoming harder to come by. Pink Fund is doing this by keeping the battle with breast cancer in the spotlight through shifting mindsets.
Everyone is aware of the need to beat breast cancer “in the flesh.” While an essential part of the fight, though, there’s more to the impact of breast cancer than just the medically-focused life-or-death struggle.
Pink Fund looks beyond that initial element. In the words of the brand, this year’s fundraising campaign aims to “shift our focus to the other part of the breast cancer fight.” The non-profit has summed up this “other part” in two words: financial toxicity.
Financial toxicity is a concept that lies at the heart of everything that Pink Fund does. It is a term that the organization coined in 2013 by Doctors Yousuf Zafar and Amy Abernethy from Duke University to reference the financial shockwave that percolates throughout the daily decision-making of those who are managing a breast cancer diagnosis. The need for treatment takes time and tremendous expense. This leads to struggles with work, paying the bills, and other key budgetary considerations.
“For many, the physical fight is only half the battle,” the organization states in its campaign announcement, “The often overlooked lesser-known financial struggle can force patients to make difficult decisions.” The non-profit adds that donating can provide much-needed financial support for cancer patients desperately trying to make ends meet.
Pink Fund’s Donors Are Providing Quiet-Yet-Critical Life-Changing Support
Pink Fund is canvassing donations from corporate and individual donors alike as it seeks to stoke the fires of interest and understanding behind the battle of living with breast cancer.
The non-profit is serving in a critical behind-the-scenes role as it helps breast cancer patients avoid the need to choose between chemo and their car payments. From word-of-mouth to direct financial support, it’s an organization worth backing as it, in turn, creates a critical lifeline for those battling breast cancer — not just at the doctor’s office but in their daily lives.
Donors can visit the organization’s website, Pinkfund.org, for more information and to learn how to make a donation.
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