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The costs associated with breast cancer treatment and follow-up care can be a financial strain for some people and their families, even with health insurance.

Besides the costs of treatments such as surgery or radiation, you may be facing extra expenses for transportation to and from a treatment center, child care while you're having treatment, or special foods to make sure your nutritional needs are being met. If you've had to take time off from work and your income is lower, these living expenses can be challenging to cover.

If you don't have insurance or are unemployed, paying for treatment may seem overwhelming. Don't panic, and don't skip any treatments or doctor's visits. There are resources available to help you.

Your medical team may be able to give you a list of organizations that offer financial assistance for breast cancer medicines and care, as well as local organizations that offer financial assistance for your practical needs such as transportation, food, and child care. Many pharmaceutical companies have set up special funds to help pay for the cost of their medicines.

The resources listed in this section are based in the United States and the regulations mentioned are U.S. regulations. Other countries may have different laws regulating insurance coverage and hospital operations. If you live outside the United States, ask your doctor about resources in your country.

The experts who advised on and reviewed this section are:

Toby Stolberg, LSW
Oncology Social Worker
The Cancer Center at Riddle

Annette M. Hargadon, MSN, RNC-OB, CBCN
Nurse Navigator/Breast Care Coordinator
Comprehensive Breast Center and Cancer Program
Riddle Hospital/Main Line Health

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