Finding out that you or a loved one has mesothelioma is distressing enough on its own. As you learn more about the mesothelioma treatments ahead, however, you may become even more disheartened by the costs. Cancer treatments can be extremely expensive.
While there is no cure for mesothelioma, proper medical care can help give a patient the best possible odds of long-term remission, increased life expectancy and improved quality of life. Depending on the circumstances, a patient who is diagnosed with mesothelioma may qualify for financial compensation from one or more parties to help the patient pay for required health care.
At Bailey & Glasser, LLP, we know how financially stressful a mesothelioma diagnosis is for patients and their families. We believe that a mesothelioma patient deserves the highest quality of
medical care available. Our attorneys can help patients secure the compensation they need to look toward the future with greater hope.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a terminal type of cancer that is associated with exposure to asbestos. The body cannot process or filter out microscopic asbestos particles that may accidentally be inhaled or ingested. Instead, they remain lodged in the body, causing irritation and changes on a cellular level that result in cancer over time. If you or a family member has been exposed to asbestos, this may eventually result in a malignant mesothelioma diagnosis.
How Much Do Common Mesothelioma Treatments Cost?
Mesothelioma has no known cure. There are treatments, however, that a patient can receive to reduce the growth of tumors, slow the spread of cancer, improve quality of life and increase life expectancy. The exact treatment plan that is right for a mesothelioma patient depends on the type of mesothelioma, the location of the tumors, the age and health of the patient, and many other factors. Most patients receive multimodal therapy, which involves more than one type of treatment.
Here’s a look at the most recent average prices for typical mesothelioma care, according to information gathered from the National Library of Medicine:
- Cancer diagnosis: $10,000 to $20,000. Visits to doctors and oncologists cost money, as do the tests and scans required to diagnose mesothelioma. These may include x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, tissue sample biopsies and blood tests.
- Hospitalization: $25,000 per stay. Hospitalization may be required for a mesothelioma patient who experiences an emergency, such as trouble breathing.
- Surgery: $20,000 to $30,000 per operation. Surgery is often the first line of treatment for qualifying patients. Multiple operations, such as extrapleural pneumonectomy or pleurodesis, may be used to remove cancer tissue or make the patient more comfortable.
- Chemotherapy: $37,000 to $50,000 (for pemetrexed). With or without surgery as a treatment option, almost all mesothelioma patients receive chemotherapy. Chemo sessions administer drugs with powerful chemicals that target and destroy cancer cells.
- HIPEC (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy): $700 to $1,000. HIPEC is a type of chemotherapy used for abdominal cancers, including peritoneal mesothelioma. It uses heated chemotherapy drugs in combination with surgery for optimal results.
- Radiation therapy: $7,000 to $12,000. Radiation therapy may be combined with chemotherapy, as they both shrink and kill cancer cells and reduce the growth of tumors. Radiation therapy uses energy similar to an x-ray, however, rather than chemicals.
- Immunotherapy: $150,000 per year. Immunotherapy is a regime of medications administered to a mesothelioma patient to boost or repair his or her immune system, enhancing the patient’s ability to fight the cancer.
- Palliative care: $50,000 or more. Palliative care is meant to make a patient more comfortable. It may include prescription medications, surgeries, outpatient procedures, home care, nursing aides, end-of-life care and other efforts to manage symptoms and side effects.
The average multimodal treatment plan for a patient with mesothelioma costs between $11,000 and $12,000 per month, for a total of around $132,000 to $144,000 per year – often for the rest of the patient’s life. However, the price can increase based on the number and type of treatments required. If a patient requires all of the treatments and services listed above, for example, the cost could exceed $330,000 annually.
The Hidden Costs of Mesothelioma Treatment
As if paying for health care wasn’t enough, a patient with mesothelioma can also encounter several hidden and unexpected costs associated with the illness. These costs may include:
- Lost wages – the patient may be too sick to work or have to take time off for medical treatments, resulting in past and future lost wages.
- Transportation – traveling to specialists and mesothelioma experts can add thousands of dollars to the overall price of medical care. Even if an oncologist is local, the patient must pay for gas and parking.
- Living costs – the price of living with mesothelioma – including household help, childcare and disability accommodations – can escalate as the patient’s condition deteriorates.
- Financial planning – as counterintuitive as it seems, a mesothelioma patient may have to pay for a financial planner or counselor to help create a sustainable financial plan.
When all treatment costs and other miscellaneous expenses are added up, the final price of living with mesothelioma can easily exceed $500,000 per year.
You May Be Entitled to Financial Compensation for Your Mesothelioma Treatments
Even with health insurance, the out-of-pocket costs for a mesothelioma patient are significant. If your family is struggling to figure out how to pay for necessary medical care and other mesothelioma expenses, consult with an asbestos attorney at Bailey & Glasser, LLP about your eligibility for financial compensation. Multiple sources for making a monetary recovery may be available to you, including:
- Asbestos trust fund – if the company that exposed you to asbestos is bankrupt or out of business, you may still qualify for compensation through an asbestos trust fund. This is a common scenario due to the long latency period between asbestos exposure and a mesothelioma diagnosis.
- Workers’ compensation claim – if you were exposed to dangerous amounts of asbestos at work, you may have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim in pursuit of insurance benefits from your employer or ex-employer.
- Lawsuit – filing a lawsuit against one or more parties for causing your cancer could result in a verdict or settlement to pay for treatment costs. You or your attorney will need to establish negligence to win this type of case.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, learn more about the treatment costs and available compensation by connecting to an asbestos attorney. An attorney can help you fight for your future by pursuing the financial compensation that you need and deserve. Contact Bailey & Glasser, LLP to learn more.