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Multiple myeloma patients with financial burdens are over twice as likely to be at risk for depression, study finds

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- People with multiple myeloma who are experiencing financial burdens due to their cancer situation are almost two and a half times more likely to be at risk for depression than those without financial burdens, according to data presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) by the Cancer Support Community (CSC), an international nonprofit organization.

The Cancer Support Community also found that:

  • People are making significant lifestyle trade-offs to manage the cost of health care. These include cutting grocery bills, depleting savings and borrowing against or using retirement funds.
  • A significant proportion of patients are experiencing significant levels of emotional burden related to financial toxicity. Thirty-two percent of participants reported experiencing clinically significant stress-related anxiety (intrusive ideation) about the financial cost of multiple myeloma and its treatment.
  • There is a significant linear increase in overall distress as out-of-pocket costs increase incrementally. Increases in distress were seen in patients whose out-of-pocket costs were as little as $100 a month.
  • Patients want financial counseling and are willing to get help. Only 28 percent reported that their health care team talked to them about the impact of multiple myeloma on finances, and 82 percent reported that such conversations would have been helpful.

"People with cancer should not have to be burdened with so much financial distress," said Joanne Buzaglo, PhD, senior vice president of research and training at the Cancer Support Community. "We need to ensure that patients have access to appropriate financial counseling and emotional support and that these services are adequately reimbursed."

The Cancer Support Community surveyed 266 patients with multiple myeloma through its Cancer Experience Registry, a research project that aims to convey the specific emotional, financial and social realities of living with cancer to the community at large. With more than 8,600 members, the Cancer Experience Registry has grown to include specialty registries on individual types of cancer, such as multiple myeloma, and the unique experiences that accompany them.
To read the full report, click here.

For more information on the Cancer Experience Registry, please visit www.CancerExperienceRegistry.org.

About the Cancer Support Community

As the largest professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, the Cancer Support Community (CSC) is dedicated to ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community. CSC achieves its mission through three areas: direct service delivery, research and advocacy. The organization includes an international network of Affiliates that offer the highest quality social and emotional support for people impacted by cancer, as well as a community of support available online and over the phone. The Research and Training Institute conducts cutting-edge psychosocial, behavioral and survivorship research. CSC furthers its focus on patient advocacy through its Cancer Policy Institute, informing public policy in Washington, D.C. and across the nation. For more information, please call the toll-free Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355, or visit www.CancerSupportCommunity.org. So that no one faces cancer alone®

CONTACT: Emily Martin 202-650-5371 emily@cancersupportcommunity.orgSource:Cancer Support Community