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Am J Manag Care. 2012 Sep;18(9):525-32.

State-level projections of cancer-related medical care costs: 2010 to 2020.

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  • 1RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA.



As the population ages, the financial amount spent on cancer care is expected to increase substantially. In this study, we projected cancer-related medical costs by state from 2010 through 2020.


We used pooled Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data for 2004 to 2008 and US Census Bureau population projections to produce state-level estimates of the number of people treated for cancer and the average cost of their treatment, from a health system perspective, by age group (18-44, 45-64, >65 years) and sex. In the base model, we assumed that the percentage of people in each of the 6 age-by-sex categories who had been treated for cancer would remain constant and that the inflation-adjusted average cancer treatment cost per person would increase at the same rate as Congressional Budget Office projections of overall medical spending.


We projected that state-level cancer-related medical costs would increase by 34% to 115% (median = 72%) and that state-level costs in 2020 would range from $347 million to $28.3 billion in 2010 dollars (median = $3.7 billion).


The number of people treated for cancer and the costs of their cancer-related medical care are projected to increase substantially for each state. Effective prevention and early detection strategies are needed to limit the growing burden of cancer.

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