A new report has revealed the high costs for privately insured women with breast cancer.

Over 2,000 women with breast cancer have been surveyed by Deloitte Access and the Breast Cancer Network Australia.

The study found a quarter of patients paid more than $17,000 in treatment costs.

Women with private health insurance are paying around twice as much as women in the public healthcare system.

Women without health insurance paid an average of $3,600 in out-of-pocket costs, while women with private health insurance are paying around $7,000 in the private health system.

Some women reported out-of-pocket costs of more than $21,000.

Kathy Wells, head of policy at Breast Cancer Network Australia, says the out-of-pocket expenses hurt at the worst time.

“It's a huge burden and cancer is not something you plan for so most people don't have that sort of money laying around tucked away in their back pocket ready to spend on their medical costs,” Ms Wells said.

“If we were getting a plumber or an electrician in we would get quotes and who we thought would provide the service at the best price and I think women need to think about that with their health.”

Ms Power said women need more information about the financial implications of treatment.

“I think people need to understand that they have to think about them — that it is important to find out and it is important to find out and it is important to be given the information,” she said.