The true costs of cancer in Europe revealed
04 October 2012
Cancers cost the European Union 124 billion Euros each year, according to the first ever estimate of the economic burden of malignancies in the region.<br /><br />
The researchers included in their calculations direct health costs such as primary care, hospital care and medications, as well as the cost of informal care and losses in productivity.
Data were gathered from a variety of sources including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and national ministries of health.
Figures were broken down by country, and by type of cancer. The lowest country per-capita healthcare cost for cancer was 32 Euros per year in Lithuania, while the highest was in Germany where an average of 165 Euros was spent on cancer care for every person in the population.
Dr Ramon Luengo-Fernandez from the University of Oxford, UK, the principal investigator on the study commented on the results: “Cancer poses a considerable economic burden not only to healthcare systems but to other areas of the economy, including productivity losses through early mortality and time-off-work, and relatives who have to forego work/leisure to care for cancer patients."
The findings were presented during the ESMO 2012 Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Vienna.