Financial Toxicity: Limitations and Challenges When Caring for Older Adult Patients With Cancer

Mary Elizabeth Davis

Susan Fugett

financial toxicity, cancer treatment, cost, financial burden, older adults
CJON 2018, 22(6), 43-48. DOI: 10.1188/18.CJON.S2.43-48

Background: Financial toxicity refers to the unintended financial consequences and distress that patients and families can incur during treatment of cancer. Financial issues can add further stress to an already stressful situation.

Objectives: This article aims to increase awareness of the financial burden of cancer treatment in older adults with cancer and its effect on health-related quality of life for patients and their families and to increase knowledge of institutional and community resources to help patients manage financial concerns.

Methods: A literature search was performed to investigate the burden of financial toxicity on older adults with cancer.

Findings: High levels of financial burden have been linked to lower adherence to cancer treatments, shorter survival, poorer prognosis, and greater risk of recurrence. Older adults are particularly vulnerable and more likely to experience financial toxicity. Incorporating discussions about financial burden and exploring options to defray costs are key components of quality and patient-centered care.

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