Financial Assistance For Those with Advanced Prostate Cancer

If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you are not alone. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in men. Each year, more than 230,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and approximately 1 man in every 7 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life. 

Men who have advanced prostate cancer, or other underlying health conditions, may qualify for disability benefits to help them pay for living expenses while they fight their cancer. However, many men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer do not qualify for disability benefits because they are able to continue working during their cancer treatment. Nevertheless, the cost of treatment, missed work, and other expenses can add up fast, meaning that men with prostate cancer oftentimes need some sort of financial assistance to help them cover these expenses. 

The cost of some medications required to treat prostate cancer is prohibitively expensive for most men. No one should have to choose between paying for food or paying for the medication they need to fight their cancer. Luckily, financial assistance for men battling prostate cancer is out there.

Some good resources for men who need help financially while they fight prostate cancer include non-profit organizations, VA benefits, and Social Security disability benefits which are discussed in greater detail below.

Non-Profit Organizations

Non-profit organizations are dedicated to supporting people as they go through cancer treatment. Some non-profits cannot offer financial assistance because of limited means, but they can assist people with cancer in finding financial assistance. And, conversely, there are other non-profits out there that do have the resources to offer direct financial assistance to men fighting prostate cancer. Typically, the financial assistance provided by these organizations comes in the form of grants and does not have to be paid back by the cancer patient recipient. Some of the non-profit organizations that offer financial assistance to men with prostate cancer include:

Angel Foundation: The Angel Foundation provides money that can be used to pay for living expenses like rent or mortgage, food, utilities, or any non-medical expenses. To qualify for assistance from the Angel Foundation, you must be 18 or older, be in active cancer treatment, and meet their financial requirements.

Zero Cancer: The Zero Cancer organization offers direct financial help to cover the cost of medication co-pays, which can be very helpful for men struggling to afford the medication they need to fight prostate cancer. They also fund free mobile cancer testing centers. 

CancerCare: CancerCare offers direct assistance to help cancer patients pay for co-pays and other medications needed to treat cancer. CancerCare offers help for people battling several different types of cancer, including prostate cancer. 

Johnson & Johnson Payment Assistance Program: If you have been prescribed Johnson & Johnson (J&J) drugs for treating your prostate cancer, you can apply to receive up to a year’s worth of prescription medications for free through the Johnson & Johnson Payment Assistance Program. 

The Assistance Fund: The Assistance Fund is an independent, charitable organization focused on providing patient assistance to help both patients and families who are faced with having to pay high out-of-pocket medical costs. By offering direct payments to patients and families, the Assistance Fund helps their recipients with covering the costs of their treatments as well as their medications.

VA Benefits

If you are a medically retired veteran receiving healthcare through the VA, your prostate cancer treatment costs should be covered. If you are not medically retired, but you are a veteran, you may qualify for cancer treatment through the VA if you have no other insurance. If you are receiving VA treatment for prostate cancer, but are having trouble meeting the cost of your co-pays, you can apply for VA hardship assistance.

Social Security Disability Benefits

Finally, if you have prostate cancer and you cannot work for at least 12 months, you can apply for Social Security disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you will have to submit medical evidence showing that you meet the SSA’s Blue Book requirements for prostate cancer. In other words, you must prove that your prostate cancer meets one of these criteria:

  • The disease has progressed or returned despite initial treatment
  • Your cancer has metastasized (spread) to internal organs
  • You have oat or small-cell carcinoma

The medical records you submit should include any imaging reports like MRIs or X-rays as well as blood tests, biopsies, an official letter of diagnosis of prostate cancer, and any doctor’s notes in your file. You can start an application for disability benefits directly through the SSA’s website


Being diagnosed with cancer is scary, but paying for your treatment, living expenses, and medications doesn’t have to be. There are resources out there that will help pay for the costs of the things that you need so that you can focus on beating your prostate cancer and getting your life back. It is also important to note that there is plenty of emotional support available—both online and in-person—to help you cope as you navigate through your fight against cancer. Non-profits dedicated to helping people with cancer, the VA, and the Social Security Administration all can be great resources for you to lean on during this difficult time.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Van Arsdall 



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