A cancer diagnosis is never easy to hear and it comes with a large number of expenses related to care and treatment. The financial side of a serious illness is complicated, and understanding how it will impact you and your family early will save you a lot of stress down the road. Finding out ways to reduce the expenses you incur and manage the ones that are necessary is an important part of making sure you’re not facing additional stress or anxiety over your finances. What you can expect depends on your course of treatment and your insurance situation, so no two patients will be in identical situations—but there are ways to prepare yourself to handle the cost of your care as best you can.

Do you have insurance?

One of the largest determining factors in what your out-of-pocket expenses will be for treatment is what type of insurance you have. There are many different types of insurance plans, in addition to speciality healthcare coverage from other companies. You can learn more about medical care provided outside the traditional insurance structure by getting a Medishare quote online. Contact your provider if you have any questions about what’s included in your plan and what co-pays and out-of-pocket costs you will be responsible for.

If you have a life insurance policy and are seeking immediate liquidity, there are companies like American Life Fund that can help. American Life Fund provides viatical settlements to patients with a terminal diagnosis. That means they can essentially buy out your life insurance plan and provide you with a cash payment for you to utilize immediately. You can learn more at americanlifefund.com anytime. If you find yourself without funds and needing to make quality-of-life improvements, this could be an option to help cover the price.

Who can I speak to for help?

If you find yourself in a situation where you’re in financial need and don’t know where to turn, there is help available. First, speak to the doctor providing your treatment. Oncology nurses, social workers, and financial counselors are available to you to discuss your situation. There are both national and local organizations dedicated to helping cancer patients afford their treatment as well that you should look into. The passage of the Affordable Care Act has also significantly changed how much you will pay for various treatments and co-pays, so you may also want to read up on how the Affordable Care Act affects cancer patients.

You can always reach out to friends and family, but not everyone has that option, and not every family has the means to help out with the considerable expenses involved. Still, patients have other needs, including childcare, that your family may be able to help with so you don’t have to pay for the service. Even a few meals cooked by others here and there can help both financially and by removing the stress of preparing them yourself. Having a serious illness can feel isolating, but the best way to get through it is to make sure you’re using every resource available to you for help.

The reality is that there’s no easy way to manage the costs of cancer, but there are also a lot of avenues for assistance that patients can explore to make sure they can afford treatment. There are other hidden costs like finding someone to handle household tasks, babysit children if there are any, and transport you to and from certain doctor’s visits. It can be helpful to reach out to friends and family to see if they can help alleviate any of these stressors and reduce the number of tasks on your plate. If you have a terminal diagnosis, a viatical settlement might be the answer and can provide you with much-needed liquidity. No matter what situation you’re in, there are resources out there to help you beat cancer.