Australians living with lymphoma have the highest levels of financial stress in the world, an international survey shows.
The survey involving more than 4,000 people with lymphoma from 72 countries found 1 in 3 Australians surveyed reported financial stress relating to their cancer compared with a quarter of respondents globally.
The research, conducted by the international Lymphoma Coalition, also showed that Australia scored significantly worse than the global average for loss/reduction in employment (30% versus 22%), loss of self-esteem (30% versus 25%), depression (41% versus 33%) and isolation (28% versus 22%).
Stress related to finances was at its greatest when Australians were undergoing treatment (91% experienced stress during treatment versus 19% prior to treatment), the report revealed.
Lymphoma Australia CEO Sharon Winton said the results of the survey were a wake-up call for Australia to do more to help people living with and treating lymphoma.
“Some people with lymphoma are in the right place at the right time and are able to access new medicines through clinical trials but others have no option but to find the funds to pay for new treatments. It simply isn’t good enough.
“It is hard enough undergoing treatment for lymphoma without the additional stress of paying for vital medicines while being unable to work due to illness,” she said.
“We’re calling on the Federal Government to do more to assist Australians with lymphoma, whether that is fast-tracking the PBS listing of new medicines or providing financial assistance to help Australians meet out-of-pocket treatment costs,” she added.
Five new drugs which treat lymphoma will be considered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee in November.