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What is the cost of cancer?

A cancer diagnosis has a significant impact on many aspects of a person’s life. For some, it can affect their finances and cause money problems.

Many people diagnosed with cancer and their families worry how they’ll manage the financial impact of cancer. The way that cancer affects your finances will depend on your individual circumstances.

Here we provide some information about budgeting, what to do if you can’t pay your bills or meet your repayments, and where to go for help.

There are many different types of costs that could add up during treatment and recovery. You may have health-related expenses such as medication, equipment and specialist fees. You may also have costs related to transport, accommodation, child-care or complementary therapies.

At the same time cancer may mean a loss of income if you have to take time off work.

Often a cancer diagnosis changes your financial plans and goals and you may need to manage your own or your family’s budget to deal with the extra costs.

When you are diagnosed with cancer it can be difficult to know where to start. Below we outline some important questions to consider.

This information is reviewed by

This information was last reviewed October 2021 by the following expert content reviewers: Rania Tannous, Head of Legal, Corporate, Legal and Governance, AMP; Patricia Troll, Senior Legal Counsel, AMP Financial Services Legal, Legal and Governance, AMP; Lynette Brailey, Program Coordinator, Financial Assistance Service, Cancer Council NSW; Stephen Bray, Financial Planner, FM Financial, TAS; Angela Daly, Senior Social Worker, Cancer Services, The Adem Crosby Centre, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, QLD; Sandra Hodge, Consumer; Sandi Johnson, Consumer; Antony Mitchell, Financial Counsellor, Financial Counselling Program, Cancer Council VIC; Lucy Pollerd, Social Worker, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Heather Richards, Consumer; Deb Roffe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA.