Association of Major Adverse Financial Events and Later-Stage Cancer Diagnosis in the United States

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Clinical Oncology


PURPOSE This study assessed the prevalence of specific major adverse financial events (AFEs) - bankruptcies, liens, and evictions - before a cancer diagnosis and their association with later-stage cancer at diagnosis. METHODS Patients age 20-69 years diagnosed with cancer during 2014-2015 were identified from the Seattle, Louisiana, and Georgia SEER population-based cancer registries. Registry data were linked with LexisNexis consumer data to identify patients with a history of court-documented AFEs before cancer diagnosis. The association of AFEs and later-stage cancer diagnoses (stages III/IV) was assessed using separate sex-specific multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS Among 101,649 patients with cancer linked to LexisNexis data, 36,791 (36.2%) had a major AFE reported before diagnosis. The mean and median timing of the AFE closest to diagnosis were 93 and 77 months, respectively. AFEs were most common among non-Hispanic Black, unmarried, and low-income patients. Individuals with previous AFEs were more likely to be diagnosed with later-stage cancer than individuals with no AFE (males - odds ratio [OR], 1.09 [95% CI, 1.03 to 1.14]; P < .001; females - OR, 1.18 [95% CI, 1.13 to 1.24]; P < .0001) after adjusting for age, race, marital status, income, registry, and cancer type. Associations between AFEs prediagnosis and later-stage disease did not vary by AFE timing. CONCLUSION One third of newly diagnosed patients with cancer had a major AFE before their diagnosis. Patients with AFEs were more likely to have later-stage diagnosis, even accounting for traditional measures of socioeconomic status that influence the stage at diagnosis. The prevalence of prediagnosis AFEs underscores financial vulnerability of patients with cancer before their diagnosis, before any subsequent financial burden associated with cancer treatment.

First Page


Last Page


PubMed ID






This document is currently not available here.