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This post is a part of the weeklong #LiveBrave series in celebration of Survivor Week.

In addition to the physical and emotional toll a colon cancer diagnosis can have, it can also be a financial burden. In fact, medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States, and we often get calls on our Helpline from patients and survivors with questions and concerns about money.

These concerns are so common that “financial toxicity” is now often explicitly listed as a side effect of cancer care. Financial toxicity refers to the money-related difficulties that can lead people to avoid or delay care, as well as the stress that can lead to mental and physical health problems—potentially as harmful, or more harmful, as chemotherapy itself.

Fortunately, there are many resources, programs and organizations that can provide financial assistance or advice—there’s even some ways you can save while in treatment.

Here are our top 5 financial tips:

  1. Apply for Blue Hope Financial Assistance, which offers stipends to help cover treatment related expenses.
  2. Always get a complete breakdown of what you owe.
  3. It’s never too early to set a financial game plan, so talk to your loved ones, doctors and insurance company early on to figure out ways to save.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Talk to your clinic to see if they have financial advocates.
  5. You may have rights to legal assistance if finances interfere with treatment; visit Cancer Legal Resource Center to get free legal advice if you find yourself in this situation.

Financial Resources We Offer

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The Colon Cancer Alliance is also here to help! Check out our frequently updated Support and Financial Resources Guide, which includes links to many national organizations that assist with various financial issues. You can also receive and share financial advice and information with thousands of patients, survivors and caregivers in our online communities Blue Hope Nation and Colontown.

We’ll also discuss managing the financial burden of metastatic colorectal cancer at this year’s Live Your Best Life mCRC Symposium in Mesa, AZ, November 11-13. Learn more at coloncancerconference.org!

What are your top tips for tackling finances?

Don’t forget, the Colon Cancer Alliance serves as a source of information about colon health. If you have additional questions about colon cancer screening or are in need of support, please contact our free Helpline at (877) 422-2030. We’re here to help.

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