Objectives: The aim of this study was to develop a decision support tool to assess the potential benefits and costs of new healthcare interventions.
Methods: The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) commissioned the development of a Cancer Risk Management Model (CRMM)--a computer microsimulation model that simulates individual lives one at a time, from birth to death, taking account of Canadian demographic and labor force characteristics, risk factor exposures, and health histories. Information from all the simulated lives is combined to produce aggregate measures of health outcomes for the population or for particular subpopulations.
Results: The CRMM can project the population health and economic impacts of cancer control programs in Canada and the impacts of major risk factors, cancer prevention, and screening programs and new cancer treatments on population health and costs to the healthcare system. It estimates both the direct costs of medical care, as well as lost earnings and impacts on tax revenues. The lung and colorectal modules are available through the CPAC Web site (www.cancerview.ca/cancerrriskmanagement) to registered users where structured scenarios can be explored for their projected impacts. Advanced users will be able to specify new scenarios or change existing modules by varying input parameters or by accessing open source code. Model development is now being extended to cervical and breast cancers.