Confirmed: Cancer deaths lead to massive annual lost earnings

A doctor holds a patient’s hand in office during an examination. (Getty images) . 

03 June 2019 | Bruce Japsen | Forbes

Cancer deaths cost the U.S. economy more than $94 billion in annual lost earnings due to premature death, new research shows.

A study in JAMA Oncology shows “lost earnings for individuals ages 16 to 84 who died from cancer in 2015” at $94.4 billion, figures that could be partially prevented through better detection and earlier intervention.

The calculation in the report also concluded cancer took “more than 8.7 million years of life” in this one year.

“Our findings indicate large state variation in the economic burden of cancer and suggest the potential for substantial financial benefit through delivery of effective cancer prevention, screening, and treatment to minimize premature cancer mortality in all states,” Dr. Farhad Islami, scientific director of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society and fellow researchers wrote in an original investigation published Wednesday in JAMA Oncology.

For their research, the study’s authors examined cancer mortality and life expectancy from the National Center for Health Statistics. Researchers also drew financial data on earnings from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 Current Population Survey.

The economic burden of lost earnings from premature cancer deaths in the United States appears to be significant,” researchers wrote. “There is also large variation across states, reflecting disparities in the burden.”

Kentucky had the highest amount of lost earnings at $35.3 million per 100,000 people, researchers said.

To reduce the impact to the economy while improving health outcomes, the studies authors suggest “equitable access” to comprehensive cancer care “all states could reduce the burden of cancer and associated geographic and other differences in the country,” the study’s authors said. “Health care professionals can contribute to achieving this goal because they play a central role in the delivery of cancer prevention, screening, and treatment.”

Original Link: Cancer’s $94 Billion Annual Hit To The U.S. Economy

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