Our dad, James Baker, was recently diagnosed with tonsillar cancer. In late December of 2020, he noticed a small lump in his neck, and by early January 2021, he realized that lump was growing fast. Due to COVID-19, he had been unable to see a doctor in person for over a year, despite having several telemedicine appointments throughout 2020. Had a doctor been able to look in his mouth, they would have likely caught it sooner. Unfortunately, it spread to his lymph nodes, and he is now battling stage 3 cancer. He went through many tests over the last few months before he was given a diagnosis, and after being turned down for a clinical trial at UCLA, he opted to seek traditional treatment at City of Hope. So far, his tests have included x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, CT scans, a PET scan, biopsies, and a series of blood tests. Before even starting chemotherapy and radiation treatment, he received bills totaling well over $200,000. Right now, he is personally responsible to pay for over $50,000 of that. When considering the costs of treatment, surgery, and aftercare, we expect his total to reach, if not exceed, around $120,000.
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