High Gas Prices Have Pressured Cancer Patients

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

High gas prices are making everyone cut back, but for some people, that means the difference between a gallon of gas or life saving treatment.

WYMT’s Dara Rees spoke with doctors at one local cancer center about the effects the high prices have on their patients.

Some cancer patients said they would sell their house before they would skip their treatment.

One local doctor says gas prices are making some patients think differently.

The choice seems simple, but Dr. Kirti Jain says some patients are not getting the treatments they need, “That is a major choice they have to make. To spend on medicines, to spend on gas, or to spend on food.”

With multiple Chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Dr. Jain says many of his patients are struggling.

“Cancer patients are especially more affected because of the need for more frequent trips,” Dr. Jain said.

The office manager, Donnita Bostic, for the Highlands Cancer Center says she's seen many cancellations and rescheduled appointments, and many say gas prices are the reason.

“We had one lady who called today, and said is she could get the money up, she would be here this afternoon for her appointment,” Bostic said.

Some patients say daily treatments make it difficult to work, leaving them with little income.

One patient says if she has to travel outside of eastern Kentucky for treatment, she couldn't afford the trip.

“I've been here since 2004, and if we didn't have this place, I wouldn't be here,” Hilda McKinney said.

Dr. Jain says the cancer center receives some money to help patients with gas costs, but he says it isn't enough.

Dr. Jain says the cancer center is working on a program to help local patients with transportation.

He says it is important for people to get the treatment that could save their lives and he's doing all he can to help.

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