Wellness Wednesday: Upstate Cancer Center helps patients navigate costly bills

Wellness Wednesday

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Aside from the physical and emotional strain, a cancer diagnosis brings a financial hit you likely were not prepared for. This is why the team at the Upstate Cancer Center is working to help patients navigate such an uncertain and scary time.

At 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 29 they’ll host an online seminar to help those with prostate cancer find the right resources. Wednesday, July 28 is the deadline to register.

Though the event focuses on the costs associated with prostate cancer, those patients are not the only ones who need guidance throughout their diagnosis and treatment.

The financial counselor for Upstate Cancer Center, Linda Naples, says it’s important to know where to turn, no matter what type of cancer you’re fighting.

For radiation treatment, if you’re coming in five days a week for a month straight, which a lot of our patients do, that can run about $70,000 if there is no insurance involved.

Linda Naples

Naples watches patients carry this burden every day.

“If I take the elevator patients use I can really feel their stress and connect to them. When they’re on that elevator you can just feel the anxiety coming from them and the stress that they’re feeling with this cancer treatment,” she said.

Depending on the type of chemotherapy, Naples says it can cost $30,000 a month without insurance. Even with insurance, it can be too much to handle.

Her job is to make sure patients have the right coverage and let them know her office is always open.

“I may not be the right person to answer some of their questions but at least they know they can reach out to somebody,” she said.

They have nurse navigators, social workers, drug programs, and options to get to and from appointments to name a few. These tools are designed to lighten the load and put the patient’s focus where it really needs to be.

“I tell them just concentrate on the treatment and then we’ll work together on everything else.”

Linda Naples

To register for Thursday night’s Prostate Cancer Costs event or to learn more about the resources they offer to all cancer patients click here.

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