Saturday, 11 June 2011

Bankruptcy Risk Increases with Diagnosis of Cancer

Persons who suffer from cancer are likely to find that their risk of bankruptcy increases in the year after the diagnosis. That shouldn't be a surprise to California bankruptcy lawyers, who often come across individuals being forced to file for bankruptcy for medical reasons.

The link between cancer and bankruptcy comes from a study conducted by researchers who analyzed data from a cancer registry. The results of the study were presented this week at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago. Records from close to 232,000 cancer survivors over 14 years were studied and analyzed.

The investigators found that the rate of bankruptcy increased by a whopping four times when the individuals had been diagnosed with cancer. Out of the records that were analyzed, 4,805 persons, which is a little more than 2%, sought bankruptcy protection in the years after the diagnosis.

Bankruptcy rates among adult cancer survivors were twice as high one year after the diagnosis, compared to persons who did not have cancer. On an average, an individual with a cancer diagnosis would file for bankruptcy after a period of 2.5 years.

The risk of bankruptcy was not the same for all types of cancers. Some types of cancers including thyroid, lung and blood cancers like leukemia, were more likely to drive patients to bankruptcy. Additionally, elderly citizens over 65 years of age were less likely to declare bankruptcy after a cancer diagnosis. That could possibly be because many of these people are typically covered under Medicare.

What is even worse is that the number of persons with cancer diagnosis who declared bankruptcy seemed to increase after the recession set in. Even in such medically-related bankruptcy cases however, Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys would encourage people to look at alternatives to bankruptcy before making a decision.

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