The exact price of treatment varies widely based on the type of cancer and its progression, with an eight-week chemotherapy treatment costing anywhere from $100 to $30,000. David Belk, M.D., who runs the website TrueCostOfHealthcare.org, says one of the costliest types of cancer is chronic myeloid leukemia, which starts in the bone marrow. There’s no cure for it, but it “can be suppressed indefinitely with a medication called Gleevec (imatinib),” Dr. Belk says. In 2015, Gleevec cost more than $120,000 per year, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice.
Multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, is another expensive one. Dr. Belk says people with this cancer can live for more than five years if they take a drug called Revlimid (lenalidomide), which can cost nearly $20,000 a month. There are many organizations that provide assistance, both financial and otherwise, for cancer patients, including Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition and local American Cancer Society chapters. To lower your risk of cancer, maintain a healthy weight, avoid chemicals and hormone treatments that have been shown to increase cancer risk and drink alcohol in moderation.
Read more: 10 Changes You Can Make Today to Help Cut Your Cancer Risk