Grandmother and Daughter African American women dressed in suits sittng on a benchDealing with the emotions of finding out you have breast cancer is hard enough. Then when the financial burden of it hits you and your family, the stress can be overwhelming, if it was not already. That is understandable.

There is no easy way to say the obvious. Like many medical procedures, breast cancer treatment can be costly, and can quickly become a financial burden. If you are not prepared for the correspondence after a procedure, you may also be overrun by the several pieces of billing correspondence you may receive. For example, each department in the hospital may send you a bill for the services rendered in that particular department.

Many hospitals are working on rectifying that process, but until that is the overall norm, it is important that you are aware of what to expect. It’s just the way that business is done right now. So you may get a bill from the pathology lab, from anesthesiology, from surgery and from other departments. And even if your co-payment is low, even those little costs can add up quickly if you are on a tight budget, like most everyone else.

Also, there are many costs that come out of your pocket, such as traveling back and forth to the facilities, the cost of gasoline, other automotive costs and the cost of additional snacks along the way. Depending on your cell phone plan, you may also incur additional phone service charges depending on when, where and how you make calls or use your phone.

The good news is that there are many financial resources for people with breast cancer. Offices set up to assist you can help you with locating financial resources and assistance.

Most hospitals and other health care providers should also have financial counselors and other personnel who can assist you with filling out any required insurance paperwork and can give you an estimate of the overall cost of your treatment.

Some options for payments include working out a payment plan. Other options include a reduction or waiver of some of the costs of  your procedures. In addition, there are federal, state and local programs to assist those you qualify. 

In addition to financial assistance programs at the various levels, there are common ways that people ask for help from their family, friends, church, neighborhood and the general public. There are numerous ways that others have done Do It Yourself Fund Raising campaigns.

Typically, you will want to go through all the available sources of assistance through the federal, state and local programs first. This allows you to communicate to everyone else that you have done everything you can to obtain the funds on your own.

The processing of working through all those avenues will also equip you with the information needed to comfortably communicate your needs to everyone else. There is a lot to go through for all these processes, especially during this already most stressful time in your life. So seeking the assistance of those set up to help you is a good and easy step to take.