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Economic Impact of Cancer 



The economic burden of cancer to a country is shown in this example of a study done in the USA to estimate direct and indirect costs for 1977. Direct cancer care costs were estimated at US $7 billion with corresponding indirect costs of US $ 15 billion, for a total in that year of US $22 billion or nearly $100 per capita. Direct costs for hospitals, health care services and drugs can be estimated reasonably easily where one has information about what services and how much of them are provided to cancer patients. Indirect costs arise from lost productivity following on illness and premature death. They are more difficult to estimate since they require assumptions about expected future earnings and a discount rate to convert these back to current dollar value. In the study cited a discount rate of 10% was used.