A good friend has been corresponding with me recently about the costs of cancer therapy (to be fair, he was more interested in whether I should ask the oncologists at the cancer centre about some of the newer drug therapies available). I haven't paid much attention to costs of my treatment yet. Suffice to say, OHIP pays for most of the procedures, hospitalization, etc. It doesn't pay for oxaliplatin, but a federal program has agreed to pay 100% of those costs for my treatment.
But since his email I have read a few abstracts about oxaliplatin treatment costs in the United States and Great Britain. One USA Today article (the one my friend forwarded to my attention) compares 8-week treatment costs for some of the standard and newer drug therapies:
5-FU(fluorouracil and leucovorin): $63 USD
Irinotecan: $9,497 USD
Oxaliplatin (with fluorouracil and leucovorin): $11,889 USD
Bevacizumab: (with fluorouracil, leucovorin and irinotecan): $ $21,399 USD
Cetuximab (with irinotecan): $30,790 USD
Sometime soon, I'll collate some of the costs just for my personal interest, costs like 28 days in hospital, the low anterior resection, radiation treatment, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, lung scans, etc. Without even doing the research, it's quite obvious to me that I have become very expensive to the people of Ontario in the past few months. Don't get me wrong; I'm worth it, but it is humbling nonetheless to realize what the treatments are worth.
This week, I've had an additional CAT scan at the hospital, met with the surgeon for a followup consultation, and I will be meeting with an occupational therapist tomorrow. It's turning out to be a good week.