Crowdfunding may help pay for cancer care, but has an emotional impact

News Image: Crowdfunding may help pay for cancer care, but has an emotional impact

FRIDAY, March 4, 2022 (HealthDay News)

Crowdfunding helps some cancer patients in the United States pay their bills, but it may trigger shame and other negative feelings in some people, a new study finds.

“Young adults are at that stage in life where they begin to achieve financial independence and find employment,” said study first author Lauren Ghazal, a postdoctoral nursing student at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. “When a cancer diagnosis occurs, it can really impact that young person’s financial well-being.”

For the study, Ghazal and her team interviewed 46 young adult cancer survivors who turned to crowdfunding to help cover their medical and living expenses during treatment. Crowdfunding involves raising funds from family, friends and others.

The average amount raised by study participants was $3,500, and half said they did not meet their goal.

But patients said the crowdfunding was “a lifesaver” because they might not have been able to afford treatment or day-to-day expenses without it, according to findings published recently in the Cancer Survivor Journal.

At the same time, patients also said they were uncomfortable and humiliated to have to resort to crowdfunding.

“Asking for help is difficult. It is even more difficult for a young adult who has just been diagnosed with a serious illness. It is not something a young adult with cancer does lightly. And it’s not something to necessarily expect — that he has to immediately leak their whole story on a social media site to pay their bills,” Ghazal said in a university press release. .

While crowdfunding helps meet immediate needs, the authors said it was “the epitome of treating symptoms without paying attention to their root causes”.

Ghazal noted that crowdfunding is an individual solution.

“We need to consider broader interventions to reduce financial toxicity and increase social support for young adult cancer survivors,” she said.

Although the study focused on young adult cancer survivors, concerns about crowdfunding could apply to cancer patients from other groups and people with other serious health conditions, the authors noted. the study.

More information

The American Cancer Society offers guidance on managing cancer treatment costs.

SOURCE: University of Michigan, press release, March 3, 2022

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