Financial Transparency and Patient Experience

The patient experience related to financial transparency during cancer treatment is critical in ensuring that patients receive the best possible care and can manage the financial burden associated with cancer treatment. This experience can impact how patients perceive the cost of treatment, their ability to make informed decisions if they cannot afford treatment, and their mental health.


Patients who have a positive experience with financial transparency during cancer treatment are more likely to feel empowered and in control of their health and healthcare expenses. When patients receive clear and transparent information about the costs of treatment, they can make informed decisions about their care, which can improve treatment adherence and overall outcomes. Patients who are well-informed about the cost of treatment are also more likely to be prepared for any financial burden, reducing stress and anxiety related to the cost of care.


On the other hand, patients who perceive a lack of financial transparency may feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and uncertain about their ability to afford treatment. They may be hesitant to, or not to, seek necessary care if they are unsure about the costs, which can negatively impact their health outcomes. Moreover, if patients cannot afford treatment, they may face difficult decisions, such as delaying or forgoing necessary care, which can have severe consequences on their health and well-being.


The impact of financial stress on mental health is well documented. Financial stress can cause anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders, which can negatively impact a patient’s quality of life, treatment adherence, and outcomes. In addition, patients who cannot afford treatment may experience feelings of guilt, shame, and hopelessness, which can further exacerbate their mental health conditions.


Healthcare systems and providers need to provide patients with clear and transparent information about the costs of cancer treatment. They should be able to explain what is covered by insurance, provide an estimate of the total cost of treatment, and outline any out-of-pocket expenses. Providers should also be prepared to discuss financial assistance options, such as payment plans, financial assistance programs, or alternative treatments that may be less expensive, yet still effective.


If patients cannot afford treatment, there are various options available to help them manage the financial burden of cancer care. Patients need the ability to work with their healthcare providers to find less expensive treatment options or negotiate payment plans. Additionally, there are various financial assistance programs available for patients who meet certain eligibility criteria. Patients should not hesitate to speak with their healthcare providers about their financial concerns and explore all options available to them.


In conclusion, the patient experience related to financial transparency during cancer treatment is crucial to ensure that patients can manage the financial burden of care and make informed decisions about their health. Clear and transparent communication about the cost of care is essential to empower patients and improve their overall outcomes. Healthcare providers and systems should be prepared to discuss financial assistance options with patients who cannot afford treatment and support them throughout their cancer journey.

For more help with financial assistance during cancer, please look at the Support Organizations section of the CancerGo app or reach out directly to


Preserving fertility before undergoing cancer treatment

Cancer treatment can significantly impact a person’s fertility, of both sexes, particularly for young patients.  However, there are options available for those who wish to preserve their fertility before undergoing cancer treatment.

Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery, can damage the reproductive organs and potentially affect a person’s ability to conceive naturally. The extent of the damage depends on the type of treatment, dosage, and duration of treatment. Certain types of cancer, such as testicular cancer, can also affect fertility directly.

In women, chemotherapy can cause damage to the ovaries, leading to a decrease in the number of eggs or even premature menopause. Radiation therapy can also damage the ovaries, uterus, and cervix, leading to infertility or a high-risk pregnancy. Surgery, particularly for gynecologic cancers, can also damage the reproductive organs.

In men, chemotherapy and radiation therapy can affect the production of sperm, leading to decreased sperm count, abnormal sperm shape or motility, and even infertility. Surgery, particularly for prostate or testicular cancer, can also affect the production of sperm.

To preserve fertility, cancer patients can consider fertility preservation options before undergoing cancer treatment. These options include:

  1. Egg freezing: This involves collecting eggs from a woman’s ovaries, freezing them, and storing them for future use. The eggs can be thawed and fertilized with sperm through in vitro fertilization (IVF) when the patient is ready to conceive.
  2. Embryo freezing: This involves fertilizing the collected eggs with sperm to create embryos, which are then frozen and stored for future use. The embryos can be thawed and implanted in the woman’s uterus through IVF when the patient is ready to conceive.
  3. Ovarian tissue freezing: This involves removing a portion of a woman’s ovary and freezing it for future use. The frozen ovarian tissue can be transplanted back into the woman’s body, where it can resume its normal function and produce eggs.
  4. Sperm banking: This involves collecting and freezing a man’s sperm for future use. The frozen sperm can be thawed and used for insemination or IVF when the patient is ready to conceive.

It is essential to discuss fertility preservation options with a healthcare provider before starting cancer treatment. Fertility preservation options may not be suitable for all cancer patients, and the timing and type of cancer treatment may impact the success of fertility preservation options.

Cancer Treatments

After you have received your diagnosis, you will be offered a plan to treat your cancer. There are many factors that go into recommendations, which also means there may be changes along the way, and deviations from the initial plan. Treatments are tailored to your specific tumor type, grade, pathology, and how advanced it is, and take into consideration the overall health status of the person getting treatment.



Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It is given orally, medicine taken by mouth, or intravenously (IV), through a needle placed in your vein, and in other ways. Most who receive chemotherapy also receive some other type of treatment. When used as a first treatment, this is called neoadjuvant, before any surgery or radiation, making a tumor smaller, and surgery easier. It can also be used after surgery or radiation, called adjuvant chemotherapy, to destroy cancer cells left behind.

Chemotherapy has many potential side effects, the most common one being fatigue. Other common side effects it may cause are hair loss, mouth sores, nausea, and tingling in hands/feet, which often improve or completely go away once you finish chemotherapy. Treatment schedules vary. The frequency and duration of chemotherapy depend on your type of cancer, how advanced it is if they are using it to cure your cancer, control its growth or ease your symptoms.  



To treat cancer using surgery, a surgeon uses tools to remove cancer from your body. The different types of surgery, it may be open, or minimally invasive. The surgeon will remove the tumor, along with some healthy tissues and possibly nearby lymph nodes. Surgery can remove an entire tumor, or debulk it (removing some but not all of the cancer). Pain is common after surgery, your doctor can help you manage. How much depends on the extent of surgery, how you feel pain, and where on your body you had surgery. There is risk of infections, bleeding, damage to tissue nearby, or you could even have a reaction to the anesthesia. It is important to discuss all concerns with your doctor before surgery. There may be other tests to prepare you for surgery such as blood work, x-rays, and electrocardiograms (ECG), which look at your heart function. After surgery it is important to follow instructions from your surgeon, have good nutrition for healing, and get plenty of rest.


Radiation or Radiotherapy

This treatment uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. X-rays, use a low dose of radiation to see inside your body. High doses kill or slow cancer cells by damaging their DNA. Radiation takes days or weeks before there is enough damage for cancer cells to die. The two main types of radiation are external beam and internal. The type you receive depends on what type of cancer, where it is located, size, plus factors related to your age, medical history, and general health.  External beam radiation uses a machine that aims radiation at your cancer. You will see the machine moving during treatment, but will not feel radiation working.  Internal radiation uses a radiation source, which is solid or liquid, placed inside of your body. It is known as brachytherapy when a solid source is used. This may be a seed, or capsule placed in or near the tumor. Radiation has lifetime dose limits so depending on whether you have had radiation before or not, you may not be able to have radiation again. Side effects depend on the area of the body to which the radiation is being given and typically affect only that area. It is possible that radiation is the only treatment, but often it is used with other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy or surgery.

There are other ways to treat cancer which include but are not limited to, hormone therapy, immunotherapy, stem cell transplant, and targeted therapy. It is important to remember that doctors choose therapy based on an individual’s specific cancer, location, and overall health status. Ask questions, and make sure you understand the intent of the treatment being recommended, and how it may affect you.



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