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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Cancer Treatments > Bone Cancer Treatment

Bone Cancer Treatment Cost

How Much Does Bone Cancer Treatment Cost?

average costWith Health Insurance: Copays + 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $19,000-$150,000+
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Bone cancer[1] can affect any bone in the body but typically occurs in the long bones of the arms and legs. It is a relatively uncommon disease, making up less than 1% of all cancers, and does not have a clear cause, though the National Cancer Institute[2] reports there may be a hereditary component. Children are more susceptible to the disease as are people who undergo external radiation therapy or are treated with certain anticancer drugs.

Typical costs:

  • For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for bone cancer treatment typically consist of doctor visit, lab and prescription drug copays as well as coinsurance of 10%-50% for surgery and other procedures, which can easily reach the yearly out-of-pocket maximum. Bone cancer treatment typically is covered by health insurance.
  • According to the American Cancer Society[3] , the cost of cancer treatment depends on the type of treatment, how long it lasts, how often it's administered, and whether the patient is treated at home, in a clinic, in the doctor's office, or in the hospital. For bone cancer in particular, treatment[4] typically involves surgery, chemotherapy,radiation, or a combination of therapies.
  • According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality[5] , patients with cancer of the bone typically hospitalized for about a week at a cost of $19,600 total, or $2,800 per day.
  • An Environmental Protection Agency report[6] on the costs of cancer estimates that the initial cares costs for bone cancer patients is $21,064, while lifetime medical cost estimates for survivors ranges from $109,052 to $154,189.
Related articles: Chemotherapy, Bone X-Ray, Radiation Therapy, Bone Marrow Transplant, Blood Tests, Health Insurance, X-Ray

What should be included:
  • In order to diagnose[7] bone cancer, a doctor will likely order one or more imaging tests, such as an MRI or X-ray. A doctor may also order a biopsy for surrounding skin to see if the cancer has spread.
  • Surgery[8] may be required to amputate all or part of an affected limb, with the patient fitted for a prosthetic limb thereafter. In some instances the limb may be spared, or the lost bone replaced from bone elsewhere in the body. Radiation or chemotherapy may be recommended if the cancer cannot be surgically removed.
Additional costs:
  • Since bone cancer can return following treatment, and because bone cancer survivors are at increased risk of developing another type of cancer later in life, patients will need to have regular check-ups, blood tests and X-rays.
  • Discount outlets such as Costco[9] and Walmart[10] often sell prescription and over-the-counter drugs at significant savings. Walmart, for example, has a prescription drug program[11] that includes certain generic drugs at commonly prescribed dosages.
  • Many hospitals offer discounts of 30% of more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. At St. Joseph Hospital[12] in Orange, CA, for example, patients without health insurance may qualify for a 45% discount off billed charges. The hospital also offers an additional 10% discount if payment is made within 10 days of the patient receiving the bill.
Shopping for bone cancer treatment:
  • The National Cancer Institute offers a list[13] of clinical trials to help patients with bone cancer to explore new treatments.
  • offers a list of possible grant sources[14] to aid patients seeking financial help.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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