A recent study revealed that approximately 3 percent of cancer survivors of working age file for bankruptcy. A third of them who don’t file for bankruptcy are plagued with medical debt that is very difficult for them to pay off.

Surviving cancer rewards you with life, and there is no doubt that the debt is worth it. However, the cost of cancer therapies is only getting higher — to the point that more and more people are virtually guaranteed to suffer financially as a result. Indeed, even those who have medical insurance can get buried in co-pays and deductibles.

Believe it or not, a new cancer therapy agent will cost patients approximately $10,000 a pop on average. In some cases, a treatment can cost as much as $60,000. Unless the patient has tens of millions of dollars in the bank, these costs are impossible to get through without incurring massive levels of debt, even with insurance.

It seems that the younger the patient is, and the lower his or her income is, the higher chance he or she will go into debt following cancer treatment. Furthermore, those who have a history of cancer tend to have double the chance of going into bankruptcy.

Cancer patients should have the ability to celebrate their newly acquired health freely and happily, without the barking wolves of debt biting at their heels. If you or your loved one is saddled with unpaid medical bills following cancer treatments, bankruptcy proceedings could be just the financial lifeline that you need. In this respect, those who complete the bankruptcy process for their medical debt — rather than living a debt-laden life — might actually be the smart ones.

Source: NBC News, “Debt, Bankruptcy are Rewards for Cancer Survivors,” Jan. 05, 2016