Women Who Are Young, Non-White, and with Lower Socioeconomic Status Report Higher Financial Toxicity up to 1 Year After Breast Cancer Surgery: A Mixed-Effects Regression Analysis

Mary C. Politi, Renata W. Yen, Glyn Elwyn, A. James O'Malley, Catherine H. Saunders, Danielle Schubbe, Rachel Forcino, Marie Anne Durand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: We examined self-reported financial toxicity and out-of-pocket expenses among adult women with breast cancer. Methods: Patients spoke English, Spanish, or Mandarin Chinese, were aged 18+ years, had stage I–IIIA breast cancer, and were eligible for breast-conserving and mastectomy surgery. Participants completed surveys about out-of-pocket costs and financial toxicity at 1 week, 12 weeks, and 1 year postsurgery. Results: Three hundred ninety-five of 448 eligible patients (88.2%) from the parent trial completed surveys. Excluding those reporting zero costs, crude mean ± SD out-of-pocket costs were $1,512 ± $2,074 at 1 week, $2,609 ± $6,369 at 12 weeks, and $3,308 ± $5,000 at 1 year postsurgery. Controlling for surgery, cancer stage, and demographics with surgeon and clinic as random effects, higher out-of-pocket costs were associated with higher financial toxicity 1 week and 12 weeks postsurgery (p <.001). Lower socioeconomic status (SES) was associated with lower out-of-pocket costs at each time point (p =.002–.013). One week postsurgery, participants with lower SES reported financial toxicity scores 1.02 points higher than participants with higher SES (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.08–1.95). Black and non-White/non-Black participants reported financial toxicity scores 1.91 (95% CI, 0.46–3.37) and 2.55 (95% CI, 1.11–3.99) points higher than White participants. Older (65+ years) participants reported financial toxicity scores 2.58 points lower than younger (<65 years) participants (95% CI, −3.41, −1.74). Younger participants reported significantly higher financial toxicity at each time point. Discussion: Younger age, non-White race, and lower SES were associated with higher financial toxicity regardless of costs. Out-of-pocket costs increased over time and were positively associated with financial toxicity. Future work should reduce the impact of cancer care costs among vulnerable groups. Implications for Practice: This study was one of the first to examine out-of-pocket costs and financial toxicity up to 1 year after breast cancer surgery. Younger age, Black race, race other than Black or White, and lower socioeconomic status were associated with higher financial toxicity. Findings highlight the importance of addressing patients’ financial toxicity in several ways, particularly for groups vulnerable to its effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e142-e152
JournalOncologist
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Costs of care
  • Financial toxicity

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