Impact of Cancer on Economic Status among Survivors and Their Families

Anna Zajacova, University of Wyoming
Robert Schoeni, University of Michigan
Robert Wallace, University of Iowa

Cancer represents a substantial hardship for patients and their families in multiple domains beyond health and survival. Few studies to date, however, examined the economic consequences of cancer in the families of adults living with cancer. Using nationally representative data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics 1989-2007 on adults 18 years and older, we employ fixed-effect models to estimate the causal effects of a cancer diagnosis on subsequent employment, income, and wealth. Preliminary analyses found significant long-term declines in family incomes following a diagnosis, especially among younger adults. We will also examine changes in own and spousal employment and wages, health care expenditures, and wealth. With the increasing number of adult cancer survivors in the US population, our findings fill a pressing need for understanding the effects of cancer on their and their families' economic well-being.

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Presented in Poster Session 4