The financial burden of breast cancer is so overlooked, many Canadians are shocked it is even an issue. Each year, millions of dollars are raised in the name of cancer research, which gives us all hope for better treatment and a future without breast cancer. But what about women who need help right now? There are hundreds of women who are not only fighting this disease but now have a sea of bills to manage. That’s why the BCSF was created.
So why, and how is breast cancer so expensive? First, women who are diagnosed with breast cancer often have to stop working while receiving treatment. The devastating physical toll, paired with the time they now have to dedicate to being treated at a cancer center in the hospital, often pulls women away from their jobs so they can no longer financially provide for their families. This prolonged wage loss is a major stressor for women while undergoing treatment.
Of the many Canadian women who rely on BCSF to get through treatment, 40% of them are also single mothers. Many require childcare for their kids during and just after treatment. These significant childcare costs add up quickly and add an extra layer of stress for the patient going through breast cancer treatment.
The cost of household expenses like running a car, gas, keeping a car, insurance, gas, and parking play into this too. Women who live in rural communities are forced to travel for hours each day to attend doctor appointments, treatment sessions, and other medical consultations. Women who live in cities and are close to cancer centers often have to rely on public transportation to get to their medical appointments.
At this time, when the only thing these women should be focused on is their health, the costs of childcare, food, shelter, and transportation, combined with wage losses add up to significant stress that can truly be unbearable for anyone, let alone a woman coping with breast cancer.
Many women’s lives are gravely impacted by indirect costs associated with breast cancer. BCSF aims to ease these stressors so women can focus on what matters most, which is getting better, getting back to work, and being present for their families.