Out of pocket cost comparison between Caucasian and minority breast cancer survivors in the Breast Cancer Education Intervention (BCEI).
The purpose of this article is to: (1) describe out of pocket (OOP) costs among minority and Caucasian participants in the BCEI, the Breast Cancer Education Intervention, a randomized clinical trial of psychoeducational quality of life interventions for breast cancer survivors (BCS); and (2) examine the OOP burden, as measured by the proportion of income spent OOP, between the two racial/ethnic groups. We examined baseline OOP costs reported by 261 early-stage I and II breast cancer survivors who participated in the BCEI trial. Data were collected using the Breast Cancer Finances Survey and the Breast Cancer Sociodemographic and Treatment Tool. OOP costs averaged $316 per month since diagnosis. Direct medical costs were $281, and direct non-medical were $66. There were no significant differences in total OOP costs or direct medical and non-medical OOP costs between minority and Caucasian BCS. Minority BCS with incomes of $40,000 or less spent a greater proportion of income in total OOP and direct medical OOP costs (31.4 and 27% for BCS with incomes ≤ $20,000; 19.5 and 18.8% for BCS with incomes $20,001-40,0000) compared to their Caucasian counterparts (12.6 and 9.2% for BCS with incomes ≤ $20,000; 8.7 and 8.2% for BCS with incomes $20,001-40,0000). OOP costs can be a considerable burden for breast cancer survivors representing as much as 31% of monthly income depending on BCS' income levels. Future studies can investigate how this burden affects the quality of life of breast cancer survivors, especially minorities.