Lung Cancer Treatment Cost Breakdown

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. And worldwide it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. With this being the case, it is only fair to expect that treatment will not be cheap. 

Today, we will give you a rough estimate of lung cancer treatment cost, and other expenses you may encounter during the treatment period.

Overview of Lung Cancer Treatment Cost

Here are the typical costs you should expect:

Usually, health insurance covers treatment for lung cancer However, each insurance plan is different, so it is always best to discuss this with your insurance agent / plan provider. Some plans might not cover individual drugs or treatments. 

Those who are covered by health insurance still have some out-of-pocket costs. This includes at least paying for copays and/or deductibles for visits to your doctors, laboratory, and prescription drugs. 

The exact cost of treatment depends on the type and duration of the treatment. It also depends on where the patient is treated. 

Lung Cancer Surgery Costs

The usual cost of surgery for lung cancer is around $15,000. 

Chemotherapy Costs

For chemotherapy, the usual cost can be anywhere between $10,000 to $200,000 or more. 

Radiation Therapy Costs

Another type of treatment is radiation therapy which can cost anywhere between $10,000 to $50,000. 

Drug Therapy Costs

Lastly, drug therapy can cost as much as $4,000 per month. This depends on the specific drug that will be used for treatment.

Other Lung Cancer Treatment Costs

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, patients with lung cancer who are hospitalized for at least 7 days usually pay $2,200 per day, or $15,600 for the whole 7 days. 

Those who are diagnosed with lung cancer  usually undergo a series of tests, so include that in your list of expenses as well.  This includes MRI and X-ray tests. 

Usually, a team of doctors will devise a treatment plan based on a lot of different factors. This includes the patient’s overall health, the patient’s preferences, and the type and stage of cancer. 

There are also additional costs that you need to consider. This includes additional rounds of treatments in case the initial treatment fails. Costs for additional rounds of treatment can be as high as $120,000 or more. 

Patients should also prepare for surprise medical bills not covered by their health insurance. This usually happens when a patient is billed by a provider whose services are out-of-network. 

Tips for Saving on Treatment Costs

Now, all of these costs are undoubtedly intimidating. Here’s a few tips to help you save on the costs:

  1. Always ask your health care team about the treatment costs. Don’t forget to ask for less-expensive alternatives if they are available
  2. Ask your healthcare providers for assistance programs to help reduce the costs
  3. Always speak with your healthcare insurance provider about options
  4. Review the key terms of your insurance policy
  5. Find out how much does a hospital stay cost, do your research on different hospitals
  6. Find out how much your insurance will cover
  7. Look at the costs of rehabilitation after treatment
  8. Do your research diligently so you can prepare
  9. Create a list of expenses and costs so you can try to create or set a budget

More Information

This article is part of our series on Lung Cancer Treatments, Signs, Causes and Prevention.

Please check out the next topic in this series: What to expect after chemotherapy for lung cancer?

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