Record-High Gas Prices ‘Pinching’ the Pockets of Many Patients Traveling Long Distances for Cancer Treatment

March 15, 2022
Brielle Benyon
Brielle Benyon

Brielle Benyon, Senior Editor for CURE®, has been with MJH Life Sciences since 2016. She has served as an editor on both CURE and its sister publication, Oncology Nursing News. Brielle is a graduate from The College of New Jersey, where she is pursuing a Master’s in Public Health (part-time). Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, CrossFit and wishing she had the grace and confidence of her toddler-aged daughter.

Advocacy Groups | <b>American Cancer Society</b>

As the average price of regular-grade gas in the United States speeds past $4.30 a gallon, many patients with cancer may be wondering how they can afford to get to and from cancer treatments. Luckily, there’s assistance to make travel less expensive.

Gas prices have hit a record high across the United States. With a national average of more than $4.30 per gallon of regular-grade gas, many patients travelling for cancer treatments may be feeling the effects of record-high prices.

For this episode of “In Other News,” CURE® spoke with Donna Gulotta, vice president of communication and marketing for the Northeast region of the American Cancer Society (ACS), about what patients with cancer can do to potentially ease the price at the pump, including utilizing the nonprofit’s Road to Recovery program, where volunteers offer to drive patients to and from their oncology appointments.

Gulotta also explained that some families may be harder hit by the high gas prices than others. A recent survey found that 80% of patients struggle to pay for their treatment, especially those whose annual family income is $70,000 or less.

“So these moderate-income families are really going to feel the pinch of additional costs in fuel,” Gulotta said.

Transcription

The American Cancer Society knows that transportation to treatment is one of the most common barriers to cancer patients completing their course of recommended treatment. So, it is a big access-to-care issue.

One of the things that we've been doing since the early 1980s is we have a Road to Recovery program, where volunteers drive their own cars and give of their own time and provide rides to cancer patients to treatments and to medical appointments. So that's one thing that that we can do. To access Road to Recovery, patients can call our 800 number, our helpline, at 800-227-2345. So that's one thing.

We know that fuel prices are going to only add to the financial burdens that cancer patients face. Most recently our ACS CAN (Cancer Action Network) advocacy affiliate did a survey and found that 80% of cancer patients struggled to pay for their treatment. And it's most pronounced when the family income is $70,000 or less. So, w these moderate-income families are really going to feel the pinch of additional costs in fuel.


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