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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012;13(4):1547-51.

First data on direct costs of lung cancer management in Morocco.

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Laboratory of Epidemiology, Clinical Research and Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Fez, Morocco.



Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer morbidity and mortality. Its management has a significant economic impact on society. Despite a high incidence of cancer, so far, there is no national register for this disease in Morocco. The main goal of this report was to estimate the medical costs of lung cancer in our country.


We first estimated the number of annual new cases according to stage of the disease on the basis of the Grand-Casablanca-Region Cancer Registry data. For each sub-group, the protocol of treatment was described taking into account the international guidelines, and an evaluation of individual costs during the first year following diagnosis was made. Extrapolation of the results to the whole country was used to calculate the total annual cost of treatments for lung cancer in Morocco.


Overall approximately 3,500 new cases of lung cancer occur each year in the country. Stages I and II account for only 4% of cases, while 96% are diagnosed at locally advanced or metastatic stages III and IV. The total medical cost of lung cancer in Morocco is estimated to be around USD 12 million. This cost represents approximately 1% of the global budget of the Health Department. According to AROME Guidelines, about 86% of the newly diagnosed lung cancer cases needed palliative treatment while 14% required curative intent therapy. The total cost of early and advanced stages lung cancer management during the first year were estimated to be 4,600 and 3,420 USD, respectively.


This study provides health decision-makers with a first estimate of costs and the opportunity to achieve the optimal use of available data to estimate the needs of health facilities in Morocco. A substantial proportion of the burden of lung cancer could be prevented through the application of existing cancer control knowledge and by implementing tobacco control programs.

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