Stay Up
to Date
Stay Up
to Date
Breaking News,
Updates, & More
Breaking News,
Updates, & More
Click Here to
Subscribe
Click Here to
Subscribe

How Costly Is Cancer Care in the United States?

TON - March/April 2011, VOL 4, NO 2 published on April 11, 2011 in Financial/Insurance Information

The National Cancer Institute set out to answer this question last year and published results of their investigation in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study’s authors point to flaws in previous cancer cost estimates, many of which did little more than take figures from 15 years ago and adjust them for inflation.

When one considers the major transformations in cancer care in just the past decade, it is not hard to see why these earlier estimates are unreliable. Using the Surveillence, Epidemiology, and End Results database to obtain incidence rates and Medicare records for medical expenses, Mariotto and colleagues estimated the following:

US Cancer Care Costs in 2010:
$124.57 billion

Projected US Cancer Costs in 2020: $157.77 billion-$207 billion*
*Lowest figure assumes constant incidence, survival, and cost; highest figure assumes increase for greater use of targeted therapies.

Most expensive cancers in 2010 (in billions):

  • Breast: $16.50
  • Colorectal: $14.14
  • Lymphoma: $12.14
  • Lung: $12.12
  • Prostate: $11.85

For men and women whose deaths were caused by cancer in 2010, costs were highest in the first 12 months after diagnosis and the last 12 months of life across all malignancies. The greatest increase in cost from the first year to the last year was for melanoma. For example, a woman aged <65 years accumulated $6057 in medical costs in the year of diagnosis and $85,175 in the final year of life

Related Items
Economic Implications of Inpatient versus Outpatient Autologous Transplant for Patients with Multiple Myeloma
Chase Doyle
TON - April 2019, Vol 12, No 2 published on April 22, 2019 in Financial/Insurance Information
Inpatient Costs for Children and Young Adults with ALL Higher at Specialized Cancer Centers, but for a Good Reason?
Chase Doyle
TON - April 2019, Vol 12, No 2 published on April 22, 2019 in Financial/Insurance Information
Strategies to Address the Long-Term Financial Burden of Cancer in Survivors
Meg Barbor, MPH
TON - May 2018, Vol 11, No 2 published on May 15, 2018 in Financial/Insurance Information, Survivorship
Fear of Recurrence in Cancer Survivors Different from Depression or Distress
Meg Barbor, MPH
TON - May 2018, Vol 11, No 2 published on May 15, 2018 in Survivorship, Financial/Insurance Information
Financial Distress Unexpected by 40% of Cancer Patients
Caroline Helwick
TON - July/August 2014 Vol 7 No 4 published on September 4, 2014 in Financial/Insurance Information
No, You Can’t Keep Your Health Plan
Scott Gottlieb, MD
Web Exclusives published on June 15, 2010 in Financial/Insurance Information, In the News
Last modified: September 9, 2019