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Lung Cancer. 2010 May;68(2):299-304. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2009.06.016. Epub 2009 Jul 30.

Costs for 5-year lung cancer survivors in a tertiary care hospital in South Korea.

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  • 1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Lung Institute of Medical Research Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 28 Yongon-dong, Chongno-gu, Seoul 110-744, Republic of Korea.



As the population of patients with lung cancer increases, the expenditure on lung cancer treatment will become a huge economic burden in many countries. To support public health services for the treatment of lung cancer, the calculation of lung cancer-specific costs is important.


This study included newly diagnosed 76 lung cancer patients who had survived for at least 5 years after the diagnosis in a tertiary care hospital in South Korea. Direct medical costs were calculated from health care claims obtained from Seoul National University Hospital, which included out-of-pocket expenditures. Direct non-medical and indirect costs were calculated from national statistics.


Mean direct medical costs, direct non-medical costs, and indirect costs amounted to $21,321, $6444 and $4943 respectively, based on an exchange rate of Korean Won 1200=US $1. The average cost for treatment of one lung cancer patient for all 5 years was $32,708. This constituted 44.7% of the per capita income during the same 5-year period.


The economic burden of lung cancer treatment is significant in Korea.

Crown Copyright 2009. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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