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Cancer costs projected to reach at least $158 billion in 2020
Date:1/12/2011

ources on cancer research, treatment, and prevention," said study author Angela Mariotto, Ph.D., from NCI's Surveillance Research Program. "Because it is difficult to anticipate future developments of cancer control technologies and their impact on the burden of cancer, we evaluated a variety of possible scenarios."

To project national cancer expenditures, the researchers combined cancer prevalence, which is the current number of people living with cancer, with average annual costs of care by age (less than 65 or 65 and older). According to their prevalence estimates, there were 13.8 million cancer survivors alive in 2010, 58 percent of whom were age 65 or older. If cancer incidence and survival rates remain stable, the number of cancer survivors in 2020 will increase by 31 percent, to about 18.1 million. Because of the aging of the U.S. population, the researchers expect the largest increase in cancer survivors over the next 10 years to be among Americans age 65 and older.

"The rising costs of cancer care illustrate how important it is for us to advance the science of cancer prevention and treatment to ensure that we're using the most effective approaches," said Robert Croyle, Ph.D., director, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, NCI. "This is especially important for elderly cancer patients with other complex health problems."

To develop their cost projections, the authors used average medical costs for the different phases of cancer care: the first year after diagnosis, the last year of life, and the time in between. For all types of cancer, per-person costs of care were highest in the final year of life. Per-person costs associated with the first year after a cancer diagnosis were more varied, with cancers of the brain, pancreas, ovaries, esophagus and stomach having the highest initial costs and melanoma, prostate and breast cancers having the lowest initial-year costs.

These new projections are higher than pre
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Contact: NCI Press Officers
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Source:Eurekalert  

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Cancer costs projected to reach at least $158 billion in 2020
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