When the diagnosis is cancer, the expenses can pile up in a hurry.
Even people with insurance can face steep copayments for drugs, a sizable share of hospital bills and significant incidentals. These side effects of cancer care are sometimes even called "financial toxicity."
So wouldn't it make sense for doctors and patients to talk over the financial strain that cancer treatment might bring and what might be done to manage it?
On Wednesday's Morning Edition, David Greene talks with writer and breast cancer survivor Peggy Orenstein about actress Angelina Jolie's decision to have a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer.
Angelina Jolie just became part of a medical trend: More women are deciding to have their breasts removed to reduce the risk of cancer.
Over the past decade, doctors have noticed a big increase in the number of women choosing prophylactic, or preventive, mastectomies.
Some, like Jolie, have a genetic mutation that makes it much more likely that they will have breast cancer. Her mother died of the disease at age 56. Jolie is 37. She wrote about her decision in The New York Times.