Prostate cancer sufferers cough up $6000 - after insurance

RUSHING into treatment could be costing men with prostate cancer thousands of dollars, with a survey finding some were hit with up to $6000 in surprise costs.

When men are diagnosed with the potentially deadly disease, they often think little of the cost of treatment, preferring to focus on returning to health.

According to Griffith University Health Institute's Dr Louisa Gordon, men are neglecting to properly explore what effect treatment will have on their hip pockets.

Dr Gordon helped survey more than 900 men alongside Cancer Council Queensland and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

She said many felt "angry and frustrated" when they were given the startling bill despite believing they were covered by private health insurance.

"When men are told they have a cancer diagnosis, they're not worried about the money at that point - they're just undergoing the shock," Dr Gordon told APN.

"They are not really bothered by cost or money at this point."But most men have early stage cancer so they do have time to explore their options and do their homework to find out what they will be charged."

With 20,000 men in Australia diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, Dr Gordon said these were not uncommon questions to ask.

The extra cost, she said, could put pressure on not just the patient's wallet but also their relationships if they are beyond working age.Dr Gordon said the key was to have the conversation with doctors.

"They can find out what they are not going to get back from Medicare or private health insurance so it's not so devastating," she said.

Topics:  editors picks health costs prostate cancer

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