Cancer Survivors Face Financial Burden
(HealthDay News) — Male and female cancer survivors incur annual medical costs that are almost two times greater than those of people who haven't had cancer, according to research published in the June 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
In the report, the researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's 2008–2011 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. They estimated annual medical costs and productivity losses among male and female cancer survivors aged ≥18. About 10% of cancer survivors aged ≥65 were uninsured.
Male cancer survivors had annual medical costs of more than $8,000 per person, compared with $3,900 for men without a history of cancer. Female survivors had $8,400 in yearly medical costs, compared with $5,100 for women who never faced cancer. Male cancer survivors had annual productivity losses of $3,700, compared with $2,300 for men without a history of cancer. Female survivors had $4,000 in lost productivity each year, compared with $2,700 for women who hadn't had cancer. Employment disability accounted for about 75% of lost productivity among cancer survivors. Among those who are employed, an estimated 42% had to make changes to their work hours and duties.
About a quarter of survivors said cancer and its treatment interfered with physical job tasks, and 14% said they had trouble performing mental tasks, the researchers reported. "Throughout their lifetime, they will still be going through treatments and checkups and long-term side effects and late effects that can come as a result of survival," study author Donatus Ekwueme, PhD, a senior health economist at the CDC's division of cancer prevention and control, told HealthDay.