NIH Projects Significant Increase in Cancer Costs Between 2010 and 2020
Cancer costs are expected to escalate dramatically between 2010 and 2020 because of increasing expenditures for new technology and therapies, according to figures released by NIH on Wednesday, CQ HealthBeat reports.
The NIH analysis focused on a study by National Cancer Institute researchers (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 1/12). NCI used data from its own research, as well as data from Medicare and the U.S. census.
Rise in Cancer Diagnoses, Costs
NCI projected that the total number of U.S. residents diagnosed with cancer will rise primarily because of an increase in the number of residents ages 65 and older, the age group that is most likely to be diagnosed.
NIH estimated the cost of treating cancer patients in 2020 will be at least $158 billion without inflation, a 27% increase from total cancer care costs in 2010. When adjusting for annual inflation of 2%, NCI estimated the cost would increase to $173 billion, while a 5% annual inflation raise would put the cost at $207 billion, according to researchers.
According to NCI, if costs remained steady but cancer patients lived longer after their diagnosis, cancer costs would reach $165 billion in 2020. If fewer people were diagnosed with cancer, costs would be $148 billion in 2020, researchers estimated (Kaplan, "Booster Shots," Los Angeles Times, 1/12).
Other NCI findings show:
- There were 13.8 million cancer survivors living in the U.S. in 2010, 58% of whom were older than age 65;
- Provided cancer incidence and survival rates remain steady, the number of cancer survivors living in 2020 would increase by 31% to 18 million;
- The highest cancer costs in 2009 were associated with breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lymphoma, lung cancer and prostate cancer (CQ HealthBeat, 1/12);
- Patients are surviving longer after being diagnosed; and
- The incidence of most types of cancer has decreased since the mid-1990s ("Booster Shots," Los Angeles Times, 1/12).