Financial Toxicity in Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors


Young cancer survivors are often affected by financial stress, appearing in various areas of life: They have material worries and problems with paying their bills, they are psychologically affected, for example by worries and fears regarding their financial situation, or they cannot afford appropriate care or follow-up treatments. Especially in comparison to young people who have not suffered from cancer, survivors report such difficulties significantly more often.

The article covers the situation in the USA, and it must be considered that the medical insurance system differs from country to country. Nevertheless, some of the findings may also apply to survivors in countries where medical care is funded by the government. For example, discrimination in the work environment, which still exists despite legal regulations, can have an impact on the financial situation of survivors.

All factors that can contribute to the occurrence of financial hardship during or after cancer are presented in an overview chart. Further research should focus on how socioeconomic status and financial hardship can affect survivors’ quality of life, morbidity and mortality, and which policy measures are needed to overcome these issues.