Costs in Different States of Breast Cancer

Anticancer Res. 2019 Jan;39(1):353-359. doi: 10.21873/anticanres.13119.


Background/aim: This cross-sectional study estimated direct cancer-related health care, productivity and informal care costs for a six-month period for different states of breast cancer (BC).

Patients and methods: A total of 827 BC patients answered a questionnaire enquiring about informal care, work capacity, and demographic factors. Direct health care resource use and productivity costs were obtained from registries. Mutually exclusive groups were formed based on disease state and time from diagnosis: primary treatment (first six months after diagnosis), rehabilitation (>six months after diagnosis), remission (>1.5 years after diagnosis), and metastatic.

Results: Mean total costs were: primary treatment €22,876, rehabilitation €3,456, remission €1,728, and metastatic €24,320. Mean direct health care costs were: primary treatment €11,798, rehabilitation €2,398, remission €1,147, and metastatic €13,923. Mean productivity costs varied between 18-39% and indirect costs (productivity and informal care costs) between 31-48% of the total costs.

Conclusion: Direct medical costs were highest, but indirect costs constituted up to half of the total costs and are essential when estimating the total cost burden, as many patients are of working age.

Keywords: Burden of disease; breast cancer; costs; direct costs; indirect costs; resource use.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / economics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies / economics
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Remission Induction
  • Surveys and Questionnaires