Making Hard Decisions Fighting Cancer

  • Alternative cancer treatment
  • Cancer treatment
  • Caregiver
  • Health

Making Hard Decisions Fighting Cancer

making hard decisions fighting cancerIt is inevitable that most individuals with cancer will be challenged with making hard decisions fighting cancer. These may be decisions about the diet and life style changes by those in remission. Selecting a new treatment option and finding the means to pay for it, are some of the decisions by those who are fighting. Whatever the decisions are, more often than not, they demand hard choices. Furthermore, these choices often have to be made fast, sometimes very fast, while looking into the eyes of ultimate uncertainty.


Where Am I Now, and Where I Can Get From Here?

Let’s assume the unexpected and undesirable outcome happened, the cancer started progressing and standard protocols do not work and cannot contain it. A rational individual with a fighting spirit will start asking his or her oncologist questions about reassessment of the situation. Understanding what other treatment options can be available will become critical. This is the time when the subject of experimental cancer treatments usually comes up. With new treatment options comes new hope and also additional uncertainty.


Making Critical Decisions

Uncertainty makes it harder to make critical decisions, and it adds more stress. Different patients have various uncertainty tolerance levels. When a cancer patient elects an experimental cancer treatment, the assumption is that the outcome is uncertain. The hope is for the best. In selecting an experimental cancer treatment, patients must consider applying cost-benefit analysis, in addition to efficacy stats analysis. Many experimental treatments are not covered either by insurance plans or under public healthcare systems. It is important to consider the estimated efficacy of the treatment, as well uncertainty of the treatment. These are all legitimate forms of rick. It is also important to understand the cost, as well as realistic ability to cover those costs without the detriment to the well being of the family or the individual. Patients have to consider these and many other factors, while making hard decisions fighting cancer.

In many cases, patients have to travel long distances to access cancer treatments. The logistics of the travel can be complicated. Often such trips require enduring inconvenience in terms of time demands, conflicting schedules and potentially costly travel expenses. It is important to manage travel logistics effectively in order to reduce stress, to minimize costs and to stay positive. The right state of mind can help to make the right choices and, perhaps, to support the effects of the treatment.


Experimental Cancer Treatments Affordability Issue

Cancer treatments can be costly. Alternative and experimental cancer treatments affordability is can be a big issue for some. Many of them, like Regional Chemotherapy, may require specialized services and sophisticated medical equipment or expansive therapeutic agents. While making hard decisions about selecting an experimental treatment, cancer patients and their immediate network of supporters have to understand the reality of the situation. Regardless of the outcome of the treatment, it requires a payment, usually in advance.

The response to the same treatment can vary from individual to individual, even in cases of the same diagnosis. The procedures could result in complete remission, long-term remission or short-term remission. All these possible outcomes may have different financial implications on the cancer patient. For example, complete remission might eliminate the need for the immediate additional treatments and, therefore, for additional costs. On the other hand, short-term remission would require additional treatments for continuity of care and control of the disease. Depending on the healthcare policies in a given jurisdiction, cancer patients can incur additional treatment costs in such case, often significant.


Making Hard Decisions Fighting Cancer

It is a hard choice to select between less costly or even free cancer treatment and experimental treatment with a significant price tag attached to it. It also may not feel fair that, potentially a life-saving or at least life-prolonging, cancer treatment can be available, but out of reach, because of its cost. Our society is not perfect, and sometimes it is important to focus on opportunities and possibilities, in the absence of guarantees or entitlements. Affordability often can be the cornerstone in making hard decisions regarding cancer treatment choice. Even when the benefit is evident, it usually comes with a price tag. We can argue forever that it is impossible to define the value of one’s life. However, in reality it all too often comes to whether a patient can afford the treatment.

Family and close friends can be important stakeholders in supporting cancer patients in making hard decisions fighting cancer. This close circle can make the process easier and, sometimes, can even enable it. It is motivating to cancer patients when they know that their family and loved ones care about them and are willing to support them.


Crowd Funding for Cancer Treatments

Today, thanks to the proliferation of crowd-funding concepts, there are some new funding options available to many cancer patients. Cause crowd funding websites can offer significant financial support and make a difference in the lives of many cancer patients. Sites like,,,, and other, allow access to crowd funding and often provide the needed helping hand that matters. These platforms allow people to create fundraising campaigns for themselves or for their loved ones.  Ultimately, the goal of such campaigns is to get funds.

Each platform has its own rules and charges fees that vary. Anyone who needs funds for a life-saving or life –prolonging treatment can resort to any of these crowd-funding platforms. Of course, there is no guarantee that every campaign will reach its goal. Nevertheless, there is a hope and an opportunity to try something that was not available until very recently.