The economic burden of esophageal cancer in Iran

Indian J Cancer. 2021 May 11. doi: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_1009_19. Online ahead of print.


Background: Studies on economic burden demonstrate the impacts of some diseases and provide invaluable information for specifying priorities and resource needs when designing cancer control strategies. The current study aimed to estimate the cost of esophageal carcinoma (EC) in Iran in 2018.

Methods: This study was conducted on the prevalence approach to estimate the economic burden of EC in Iran from a social perspective. The direct cost was estimated by summing the diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, terminal care, and transport costs. Additionally, a human capital approach was adopted to estimate productivity losses. Various resources were used for data collection, including the GLOBOCAN 2018 report, and the medical record in the Cancer Institute of Iran. Also, data such as exchange rates, employment, and housekeeping rates were extracted from the Central Bank of Iran Statistics.

Results: The economic burden of EC in Iran was $69.2 million in 2018, of which $38.7 million is caused by indirect costs and $30.5 million by direct costs. The mortality cost accounted for 49% of the economic burden, followed by 34% direct medical cost, 10% direct non-medical cost, and 7% morbidity cost.

Conclusions: Mortality and medical cost appeared to be the main contributor to the economic burden. Therefore, policy-makers are recommended to adopt early detection and effective treatment as a highly cost-effective strategy for controlling costs.

Keywords: Economic burden; Iran; esophageal carcinoma.