Financial toxicity in cancer care: Prevalence, causes, consequences, and reduction strategies

J Surg Oncol. 2019 Jul;120(1):85-92. doi: 10.1002/jso.25374. Epub 2019 Jan 16.


Financial toxicity is the adverse impact of a cancer diagnosis on a patient's financial well-being resulting from direct or indirect costs. Potential consequences of financial toxicity include material loss, psychological distress, and/or maladaptive coping strategies. This review will summarize the prevalence, causes, and consequences of financial toxicity, with an emphasis on strategies to anticipate and reduce its burden. Improvement will require multilevel, coordinated efforts between stakeholders including patients, providers, health systems, payers, manufacturers, and policymakers.

Keywords: cancer; financial burden; financial distress; financial hardship; financial toxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics*
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Insurance Coverage / economics
  • Neoplasms / economics*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Prevalence
  • Stress, Psychological