NEW YORK, Feb. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Belong.Life, creator of the Belong - Beating Cancer Together mobile app, the world's largest social network and navigator app for cancer patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals, will share a study tomorrow at the ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium in Orlando showing that cancer patients who had discussions with their doctors about the financial challenges of receiving immunotherapy before beginning treatment were 37.5% more likely to avoid financial toxicity when receiving cancer immunotherapy treatments.
The RWED study surveyed 105 immunotherapy patients using Belong's Beating Cancer Together engagement platform. It found that almost half of patients were unaware of the possible financial risks inherent in receiving immunotherapy treatments and only 36% received pre-treatment financial advice. Financial toxicity was most prevalent amongst patients aged 62 years and older. Patients struggling financially turned to personal savings (39%), trimming personal expenses (28%) and support from family and friends (24%).
"This study demonstrates that the role of a medical professional goes far beyond treatment," said primary study author and Belong Chief Medical Director, Dr. Daniel Vorobiof. "A simple conversation about the cost of treatment can significantly strengthen the financial position of the patient. Financial stability can help relieve stress at an otherwise tense time and also improve medical outcomes. It is crucial that clinics and hospitals provide counsel so that patients and families can create proactive strategies for immunotherapy treatment to prevent financial toxicity."
Financial toxicity is defined by the National Cancer Institute as "Not having health insurance or having a lot of costs for medical care not covered by health insurance [which] can cause financial problems and may lead to debt or bankruptcy."
"We are on a mission to leverage real world data and reported outcomes in order to uncover crucial insights and create new opportunities that can improve patient quality of life," said Co-Founder and CEO of Belong Eliran Malki. "Our patient engagement platforms are an incredible resource for those trying to understand what a patient goes through when they are fighting a disease. We are grateful for the patients' participation in this survey and are dedicated to leveraging our technology to further advance global health research."
Belong's Beating Cancer Together app is the world's largest social network for cancer, used by more than a quarter of a million patients, caregivers and health professionals in over 100 countries.
Founded in 2015, Belong.Life builds and operates social networking and engagement platforms to help patients, caregivers, physicians and healthcare organizations manage and navigate health treatments. The company's flagship platform, Belong – Beating Cancer Together, is currently the world's largest and fastest-growing social network for cancer. Belong uses proprietary AI and machine learning technology to deliver personalized content to users and actionable insights to health organizations. The company's platforms allow patients to connect with each other, organize their medical information and discuss sensitive questions with medical professionals. Scientific research based on real-world data acquired through Belong have been published by leading health research institutions.
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