The cost of medical care has undoubtedly increased over the years, irrespective of the kind of care required. However, not all Americans, whether in Baltimore, Maryland or elsewhere, are able to pay for surgery or some other procedure without incurring debt. As a result, an ever-growing number of people today fall into the medical debt pit, often without knowing how their medical expenses escalated to such a degree. In cases where treatment involves a repeated procedure, the likeliness of racking up medical debt is only higher.
A recent survey reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology examined the financial condition of breast cancer patients after treatment. One survey observation was that 12 percent of the women surveyed were still paying off medical debt four years after treatment. Also, about 25 percent felt their financial health had declined over that same time period due to the cost of their cancer treatment. Additionally women of color and older women responded they were more likely to skip treatment due to cost or had lost property due to medical debt incurred from breast cancer treatment.