Press Releases

New Study Finds Patients with Cancer who Suffered a Major Adverse Financial Event More Likely to be Diagnosed With Advanced Stage Disease
Jun 3, 2023
The American Cancer Society led research to be presented at the 2023 ASCO annual meeting 

CHICAGO, June 3, 2023 A new study led by researchers at the American Cancer Society (ACS) shows more than one-third of cancer patients had a major adverse financial event – bankruptcy, lien, or eviction – before their cancer diagnosis. These patients with adverse financial events had a later-stage diagnosis compared with patients with no events. The findings will be presented at this year’s annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago, June 2-6.

Researchers, led by Dr. Robin Yabroff, scientific vice president, health services research at the American Cancer Society, identified individuals, aged 21 to 69 years old, diagnosed with cancer during 2014-2015 from the SEER population-based registries for Seattle, Louisiana, and Georgia. Registry data were linked with LexisNexis consumer data to identify patients with a history of court-documented adverse financial events (AFEs). All AFEs occurring at any time prior to cancer diagnosis were identified. The association of AFEs and later-stage cancer diagnoses (Stages III/IV) was assessed with sex-specific multivariable logistic regression. 

The results showed 36.2% of the 101,649 patients with cancer had a major AFE reported prior to diagnosis. AFEs were most common among non-Hispanic Black, unmarried, and low-income patients. However, even 27% of patients in the highest income group had anAFE prior to diagnosis.

Researchers hope understanding patients’ financial vulnerability within healthcare settings may inform efforts to improve equitable access to oncology care. 


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About the American Cancer Society 
The American Cancer Society is a leading cancer-fighting organization with a vision to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. For more than 100 years, we have been improving the lives of people with cancer and their families as the only organization combating cancer through advocacy, research, and patient support. We are committed to ensuring everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. To learn more, visit or call our 24/7 helpline at 1-800-227-2345. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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