Medical Care Cost of Oropharyngeal Cancer among Texas Patients

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2017 Sep;26(9):1443-1449. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0220. Epub 2017 Aug 24.


Background: The incidence of oropharyngeal cancer is rising rapidly, with the majority of cases being attributable to human papillomavirus (HPV). Despite the availability of a vaccine, rates of HPV vaccination among Texas youth are low. The healthcare cost of oropharyngeal cancer in Texas is unknown. The aims of this study were to estimate the first 2-year cost of treating new cases of oropharyngeal cancer and determine the predictors of oropharyngeal cancer treatment cost in Texas.Methods: This study included a retrospective cohort of 467 Texas patients with commercial insurance claims data with oropharyngeal cancer diagnosed from 2011 to 2014 and a control group of 467 noncancer patients obtained with propensity score matching. Total healthcare cost during the first 2 years after the index date was measured. A generalized linear model was used to identify predictors of monthly cost during the 2 years after the index date.Results: The mean differential adjusted healthcare cost for oropharyngeal cancer cases was $139,749 in the first 2 years. The mean adjusted monthly cost in the first 2 years was $6,693 for cases and $870 for controls. Age, comorbidity, mental health, prediagnostic healthcare cost, and time index were significant predictors of monthly cost.Conclusions: Medical care cost was about $140,000 in the first 2 years after diagnosis of oropharyngeal cancer among commercially insured patients in Texas.Impact: The cost estimates provide important parameters for development of decision-analytic models to inform decision makers about the potential value of initiatives for increasing the HPV immunization rate in the state. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(9); 1443-9. ©2017 AACR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / economics*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Texas