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

Stomach Cancer Treatment Cost


How Much Does Stomach Cancer Treatment Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: Copays + 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $25,000-$200,000+
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Stomach cancer treatment can involve surgery alone or with chemotherapy or chemotherapy and radiation.

Typical costs:

  • For patients with health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for stomach 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. Stomach cancer treatment typically is covered by health insurance, although some plans may not cover certain drugs or treatments.
  • For patients without health insurance, stomach cancer treatment typically costs up to $50,000 or more for surgery and tens of thousands for chemotherapy and radiation. Costs can reach $200,000 or more, depending on the case.
  • For example, at Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, in Nebraska, www.saintelizabethonline.com/price-estimator-1.html>surgery for gastric cancer typically costs about $25,000 to more than $40,000, not including the doctor fee.
  • According to a study[1] published in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer Research, it costs about $20,100 to add chemoradiotherapy, a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, after surgery for localized gastric cancer.
  • According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the total mean monthly cost of care[2] for a newly diagnosed gastric cancer patient, for the first year, including hospitalization, doctor visits, lab fees, radiology and drugs, was more than $10,600 per month. This could total almost $130,000 for a year.
Related articles: Colostomy, Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy

What should be included:
  • For patients with gastric cancer at any stage, surgery is commonly required. The surgery required will depend on the individual case and stage. The most common surgeries for stomach cancer are: subtotal gastrectomy, in which part of the stomach is removed or total gastrectomy, in which all of the stomach is removed. Other tissues and organs might also be removed. General anesthesia is used, and a hospital stay of a week or longer might be required.
  • In cases where the tumor cannot be fully removed, and is interfering with digestive function, doctors might perform another procedure, including placing a stent.
  • In addition to surgery, the doctor might recommend chemotherapy with Fluorouracil (5-FU)[3] or another drug or combination of drugs. Cancer.gov has a list of chemotherapy drugs approved for stomach cancer[4] .
  • Radiation, or radiation in conjunction with chemotherapy -- called chemoradiation -- also might be recommended. The American Cancer Society offers information[5] about radiation for stomach cancer.
  • Cancer.gov offers an overview of treatments[6] for gastric cancer.
Additional costs:
  • Stomach cancer patients sometimes need palliative surgery, which is surgery to make them more comfortable if, for example, the cancer causes pain or blocks their ability to eat or digest food. A colostomy, for example, typically costs $20,000-$60,000.
Discounts:
  • Many hospitals give discounts of up to 30% or more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. For example, Washington Hospital Healthcare System[7] in California offers a 35% discount.
  • Some states offer programs that provide free or discounted cancer treatment. For example, the Delaware Cancer Treatment Program[8] offers two years of free cancer treatment to uninsured Delaware residents who meet certain guidelines, including having a household income of less than 650% of the federal poverty level, or less than $134,225 for a family of four. The Cancer State Aid[9] program in Georgia reimburses cancer treatment facilities for providing care to qualifying uninsured or underinsured patients who have incomes at or below 300% of the federal poverty guidelines and have been accepted into the program.
  • For insured patients, the CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation[10] offers full or partial financial assistance with copays on certain drugs for patients with gastric cancer.
  • The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition offers a financial assistance locator[11] by zip code or state.
Shopping for stomach cancer treatment:
  • The American Society of Clinical Oncology offers an oncologist locator[12] by state with the option to search for a gastrointestinal cancer specialist. And the National Cancer Institute has a search tool[13] for NCI-designated cancer centers.
  • WebMD offers a guide to types of cancer specialists[14] , and the National Cancer Institute offers a guide[15] to finding a doctor or cancer treatment facility.
  • ClinicalTrials.gov offers a list of clinical trials for gastric cancer[16] .
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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External Resources:
  1.  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2630819/
  2.  meetinglibrary.asco.org/subcategories/2011+ASCO+Annual+Meeting
  3.  www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/druginfo/fluorouracil
  4.  www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/druginfo/stomachcancer
  5.  www.cancer.org/cancer/stomachcancer/detailedguide/stomach-cancer-treating-radiatio...
  6.  www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/gastric/Patient/page4
  7.  www.whhs.com/about/washington-hospital-discount-policy-for-uninsured/
  8.  dhss.delaware.gov/dph/dpc/catreatment.html
  9.  health.state.ga.us/programs/cancerstateaid/index.asp
  10.  cancercarecopay.org/
  11.  www.cancerfac.org/
  12.  www.cancer.net/all-about-cancer/newly-diagnosed/find-oncologist/find-oncologist-da...
  13.  cancercenters.cancer.gov/cancer_centers/
  14.  www.webmd.com/cancer/your-cancer-specialists-doctors-you-need-to-know
  15.  www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/doctor-facility
  16.  clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=stomach+cancer
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