1. Discuss costs with health care providers as soon as possible.

“Patients should express their financial concerns to their health care team just as they would their concerns about any other side effects,” says Yousuf Zafar, MD, an oncologist and associate professor of medicine at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. “If I know it’s a concern, there might be alternatives.” For example, oral chemotherapy drugs often have far higher out-of-pocket costs than their intravenous alternatives—even when they’re not more effective.