Cancer survivors face mounting continuing care costs

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Cancer survivorship is increasing, but so is the financial toll exacted on these survivors. A report in the CDC publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that examined data from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's 2008-2011 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey estimated productivity losses for cancer survivors aged 18 and older, as well as an increased financial burden.

According to the CDC, the number of cancer survivors in the United States increase from 3 million survivors in 1971 to 13.4 million cancer survivors in 2012. Advances to early detection and treatment as well as new cancer treatments have fueled this increase, and CDC researchers expect the survivor total to increase by some 30 percent over the next decade, bringing the number of cancer survivors to approximately 18 million.

Although these number are very promising, these survivors face financial burdens beyond the norm. Many have trouble re-entering the workplace due to physical limitations, concentration issues, etc. At the same time, the cost of ongoing treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy must be paid. Male survivors of cancer had annual medical costs of more than $8,000 per person (compared with $3,900 for men with no history of cancer) and female survivors had an average of $8,400 in yearly medical costs (versus $5,100 for women who never had cancer), the researchers found.

Cancer survivors face mounting continuing care costs
Cancer survivors face mounting continuing care costs
People who survive cancer are likely to face a lifelong drain on their finances as they pay for mounting medical expenses year after year, a new government report finds.

According to the researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, male and female cancer survivors incur annual medical costs that are almost two times greater than those of people who haven't had cancer.

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