Global Economic Cost of Cancer Estimated to Be $25.2 Trillion From 2020 to 2050

75.1 percent of cancer deaths occur in low-, middle-income countries, which account for 49.5 percent of economic cost
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FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- The estimated global economic cost of cancer is projected to be $25.2 trillion from 2020 to 2050, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in JAMA Oncology.

Simiao Chen, Sc.D., from the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health in Germany, and colleagues estimated and projected the economic cost of 29 cancers in 204 countries and territories in a decision analytic model that incorporates economic feedback.

The researchers note that from 2020 to 2050, the estimated global economic cost of cancers is $25.2 trillion in international dollars (at constant 2017 prices), which is equivalent to a 0.55 percent annual tax on global gross domestic product. Tracheal, bronchus, and lung cancer; colon and rectum cancer; breast cancer; liver cancer; and leukemia are the five cancers with the highest economic costs (15.4, 10.9, 7.7, 6.5, and 6.3 percent, respectively). In absolute terms, the largest economic costs of cancers are faced by China and the United States, accounting for 24.1 and 20.8 percent of the total global burden, respectively. Overall, 75.1 percent of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, but their share of the economic cost is 49.5 percent. Compared with low-income countries, high-income countries have a greater relative contribution of treatment costs to the total economic cost of cancers.

"The economic cost and health burden of cancers are distributed unevenly across cancer types and across countries," the authors write.

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