SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • prostate cancer;
  • economic burden;
  • costs

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?

Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in men. Treatment is costly; the majority of men are treated with radiation or surgery, but even watchful waiting strategies are expensive. With increasing life expectancy more men are being diagnosed with prostate cancer, effectively increasing the economic burden of this disease.

This study provides estimates of the cost of prostate cancer for different countries. These estimates could be used to populate models that explore economic costs of treating and preventing prostate cancer. Our review found considerable variation in costs across different countries, which may be due to differences in detection and management practices.

In the present review we discuss expenditure on prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment and follow-up and evaluate the cost of prostate cancer and its management in different countries. Prostate cancer costs were identified from published data and internet sources. To provide up-to-date comparisons, costs were inflated to 2010 levels and the most recent exchange rates were applied. A high proportion of the costs are incurred in the first year after diagnosis; in 2006, this amounted to 106.7–179.0 million euros (€) in the European countries where these data were available (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands). In the USA, the total estimated expenditure on prostate cancer was 9.862 billion US dollars ($) in 2006. The mean annual costs per patient in the USA were $10 612 in the initial phase after diagnosis, $2134 for continuing care and $33 691 in the last year of life. In Canada, hospital and drug expenditure on prostate cancer totalled C$103.1 million in 1998. In Australia, annual costs for prostate cancer care in 1993–1994 were 101.1 million Australian dollars. Variations in costs between countries were attributed to differences in incidence and management practices. Per patient costs depend on cancer stage at diagnosis, survival and choice of treatment. Despite declining mortality rates, costs are expected to rise owing to increased diagnosis, diagnosis at an earlier stage and increased survival. Unless new strategies are devised to increase the efficiency of healthcare provision, the economic burden of prostate cancer will continue to rise.