I’ve posted before about how expensive it is to be treated for cancer.
Recently, a patient posted on the health blog KevinMD about her experience dealing with not only the stress of metastatic ovarian cancer, but the struggle to stay afloat financially.
I am one of many people today “living” with cancer. I want to focus on the impact cancer has on my personal finances, and this is probably true for any chronic illness, not just cancer.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer at 51 years old. I really
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A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Dr. Farid Fata, the Michigan oncologist who has been on trial for bilking millions of dollars out of Medicare and other insurance companies.
Worse than the fraud is that he actually falsely diagnosed patients with cancer and/or treated them unnecessarily with expensive, harmful chemotherapy drugs.
The good news is that he has been sentenced to 45 years in a federal prison.
U.S. District Judge Paul Borman this week heard stories of brittle bones and fried organs as patients chillingly described the effects of excessive chemotherapy at the hands of Dr. Farid
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For the last few months, my family has been dealing with the reality that my 93-year-old father’s health is failing. Following a health crisis that resulted in his being hospitalized and no longer able to make decisions himself, my mother and siblings all agreed that he would not want any heroic, life-extending treatments.
He survived that hospitalization, however, and is now living in a memory care home. He is receiving excellent (and very expensive) around-the-clock care.
When he was discharged from the hospital, I made it known to everyone involved—his primary care doctor, the visiting home health nurse, and his … Continue reading
July 14—an update to this story: Cancer doctor’s fraud sends him to prison
I read a news story out of Michigan yesterday that almost made me literally sick:
Whistle-blower: How doctor uncovered nightmare; Oncologist’s discovery leads to the downfall of a cancer treatment empire
[Dr. Farid] Fata’s Michigan Hematology and Oncology Inc. (MHO) was the state’s largest private cancer practice in 2013, with clinics in seven cities, its own pharmacy and diagnostic center, and 1,700 patients, virtually all of them assigned to Fata, the tireless physician. Those who needed proof of Fata’s dedication could look to the doctor’s work ethic
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I ran across this video while browsing through YouTube the other day.
It made me smile.
Related post: How to prevent colon cancer
Frugal Nurse… Continue reading
SPF = Sun Protection Factor
An SPF rating is an estimate of how effectively a sunscreen product reduces the time it takes your skin to burn. For example, if it normally takes about 10 minutes in the sun for you to burn, a product with an SPF of 15 extends that time to burn to 150 minutes. SPF 30? Approximately 300 minutes.
Related post: First aid for sunburns
Keep in mind two things about SPF:
1) It is not a super accurate measurement of protection. Different people with different skin types burn at different rates.
2) SPF measures protection from … Continue reading
A group of researchers out of the University of Pittsburgh did an interesting study. They looked at over 400 magazine and TV ads for cancer treatment centers to see how marketers tried to attract patients.
What did they find?
Clinical advertisements by cancer centers frequently promote cancer therapy with emotional appeals that evoke hope and fear while rarely providing information about risks, benefits, costs, or insurance availability.
By far the most used phrases were about “hope, life, survival, extension of life, or cure.”
If you have cancer and want to find the “best” treatment, you might be attracted to … Continue reading
Last month a nurse posted this selfie on her Facebook page with the following message:
If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay in the tanning bed and sun here ya go! This is what skin cancer treatment can look like. Wear sunscreen and get a spray tan. You only get one skin and you should take care of it. Learn from other people’s mistakes. Don’t let tanning prevent you from seeing your children grow up. That’s my biggest fear now that I have a two year old little boy of my own.
I hope a picture is worth … Continue reading
Huh. Sitting down too much increases our risk of cancer.
A new study out of Sweden tells us that women who have sedentary jobs and don’t get enough exercise outside of work have the highest increased risk of breast and uterine cancer.
This study looked specifically at those two cancers, but other similar research has linked the lack of exercise to other types of cancer, as well.
And heart disease. And diabetes. And depression.
I don’t need a study to remind me that I probably sit too much in front of my computer and it would benefit me physically and … Continue reading
It’s another case in which the right hand of a behemoth government agency doesn’t know what the left hand is doing: In Cancer Wars, It’s Doctors vs. Hospitals
Colliding federal policies are fomenting a nasty money war that’s pitting community oncologists trying to treat patients in less expensive clinic settings against hospitals trying to woo patients in through costlier emergency departments.
The agencies under discussion are the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) [which both fall under the larger umbrella of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)], and their disparate … Continue reading