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Cancer “was scary to begin with,” but COVID-19 made going to treatment difficult

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A cancer survivor and an oncologist explain how the pandemic affected cancer patients’ treatments and finances.

The cancer survivor, Shelly Lamain, had breast cancer earlier this year and had a double mastectomy before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“It was scary to begin with, to have to go through this, during this time,” said Lamain.

She said the medical bills are so high, especially because her two kids also came home, due to the virus. Thankfully, Lamain received help from the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks (BCFO).

“When you have a $200 to $300 dollar a month bill, we can put that towards the medical bills,” said Lamain.

BCFO said they received more requests to help during the pandemic, and cancer patients’ financial need is greater now.

“They still have cancer and need treatment,” said Joe Daues, CEO of the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks. “They can’t just stay in the house and self-quarantine, they still have to go to treatment.”

“Those patients are already strained financially due to their healthcare costs, and if they lose their job, their health insurance, I can just imaging how devastating that would be,” said Dr. Abe Abdalla, medical director of Oncology at CoxHealth.

The doctors say now that the state is opening back up, they are able to see more patients.

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