Navigation Links
Cancer Deaths Take Heavy Financial Toll

One estimate projects the U.S. cost to be $1.472 trillion in 2020

TUESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In pure economic terms of productivity lost and the expense of care-giving, cancer deaths cost the United States $232.4 billion in 2000 and will cost $308 billion in 2020, a new report finds.

But another way of measuring that toll includes the human element of years of life lost -- and that model placed the cost of cancer mortality at $960.7 billion in 2000 and projects it to reach $1.472 trillion in 2020.

Those two estimates appear in side-by-side papers published online Dec. 9 in the Journal of the American Cancer Institute. While the numbers differ widely, they are alike in one major respect, said Cathy J. Bradley, a professor of health administration at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Massey Cancer Center in Richmond, Va., and lead author of one of the reports.

"In both cases, the percentage of cost caused by lung cancer was about the same," Bradley said. "Lung cancer accounts for between a quarter and a third of the value of life lost."

The assessment made by Bradley and her colleagues used what is called the human capital approach, which looks strictly at money not earned or money spent because of cancer deaths. Lost productivity cost the country $115.8 billion in 2000. Adding in the cost of care-giving and lost household duties, as well as the loss of regular wage-earning jobs, more than doubled the total of that reckoning.

Robin Yabroff, an epidemiologist at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and lead author of the second paper, said his "calculation was based on willingness to pay. How much would an individual be willing to pay for an extra year of life?"

Estimates of that figure can vary, depending on the country. The Canadian government, for instance, has set the value of an added year of life at $50,000, a figure it uses to determine whether the national health program will pay for drug treatment, Yabroff said. Her report used previous U.S. studies to set the value of an added year of life at $150,000. That estimate led to the $960.7 billion cost for the year 2000.

"Both of these methods are used in the medical literature," Yabroff said. "We thought it would be useful to compare them."

Large as the costs are, they reflect a decrease in the incidence of cancer in the United States. A National Cancer Institute report issued earlier this month said the rate for all cancers among men and women had dropped 0.8 percent a year between 1999 and 2005 -- a 1.8 percent a year decline for men and a 0.6 percent annual decline for women.

The human capital approach places a higher value on some people than others, Bradley added. For example, "Certain diseases inflict a lower cost because they affect older people more," she said. "Men tend to be valued higher than women, men in their middle years higher than men at the beginning of their career."

The findings could be used to affect cancer spending priorities, Bradley said.

"Policy makers have to decide if we focus on working-age individuals, if we focus on prevention or treatment," she said. "If you get people to stop smoking, 40 years later you see the cost of lung cancer come down. Or perhaps right now you would want to make an impact on treatment."

The human capital assessment of cost is important because "it puts a dollar value on the fact that many people die of cancer at a younger age," Yabroff said.

"But," Bradley added, "you can argue that people are worth more than the wages they earn."

More information

The American Cancer Society has statistics on U.S. cancer deaths.

SOURCES: Cathy J. Bradley, Ph.D, professor, health administration, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Massey Cancer Center, Richmond; Robin Yaroff, Ph.D, epidemiologist, U.S. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.; Dec. 9, 2008, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, online

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Study finds selenium, vitamin E do not prevent prostate cancer
2. Cancer to Surpass Heart Disease as Worlds Leading Killer
3. Experimental Drug Fights Bone Marrow Cancers
4. Leading U.S. Cancer Organizations Unite Against the Growing Global Cancer Burden
5. Childrens cancer group recommends global evaluation system for neuroblastoma to improve treatment
6. UK kidney cancer patients face toxic, out-dated treatments with little hope of change
7. Twenty New Abstracts on Oral Xeloda(R) (capecitabine) Featured at the 31st San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
8. Confusing risk information may lead breast cancer patients to make poor treatment choices
9. 33rd Annual Hutch Holiday Gala Raises Millions for Cancer Immunotherapy Research
10. Einstein researchers discover protein that contributes to cancer spread
11. An Achilles heel in cancer cells
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor ... that explains one of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy ... and puzzling descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: ... souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is ... Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent ... sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million ... by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( ... introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad ... comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major side effect ... hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2, 2017 The Rebound mobile app is poised ... reverse the tide of prescription drug addiction. The app empowers ... intake and stepping down their dosage in a safe, controlled ... December 2017; the first 100,000 people to sign up will ... ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... and NEW YORK , Sept. 27, 2017 ... mobile health and big data solutions, today announced that its MyDario product ... check your local TV listings for when The Dr. Oz Show airs ... The ... this month. ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... 2017  As the latest Obamacare repeal effort moves ... (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) medical ... device industry is in an odd place.  The industry ... excise tax on medical device sales passed along with ... patients, increased visits and hospital customers with the funding ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: