Objectives: Cancer accounts for a major proportion of national health expenditures, which are expected to increase in the future. This paper aims to identify major challenges with estimating cancer related costs, and discuss international comparisons, and recommendations for future research.
Methods: It starts from the experience of an international workshop aimed at comparing cancer burden evaluation methods, improving results comparability, discussing strengths and criticisms of different approaches.
Results: Three methodological themes necessary to inform the analysis are identified and discussed: data availability; costs definition; epidemiological measures.
Conclusions: Cost evaluation is applied to cancer control interventions and is relevant for public health planners. Despite their complexity, international comparisons are fundamental to improve, generalize and extend cost evaluation to different contexts.