When Anne was first diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML), a form of blood cancer, the first thing that went through her mind was her family.
The mother of three girls was concerned about how they would take the news and that of her aging parents.
“I wasn’t worried about my sickness but (I was worried for) my children.
“When I found out this medication is so expensive, it is another big blow (to me), I almost wanted to give up,” the housewife said.
The medication for her condition costs up to a whopping RM110,000 per year, excluding treatment. She has to continue taking the medication for life. The family’s household annual income is only RM72,000.
She declined to be identified because she did not want to worry her family members, who do not know about the financial burden.
Based on previous data on incidences of cancer in Malaysia, it is estimated that about 42,000 Malaysians will be diagnosed with cancer this year, out of which, some 39,000 patients will eventually lose their battle against the disease.
But even if they make it, the cost of fighting cancer can cripple survivors…