Current and future costs of cancer

Marc A. Koopmanschap*, Leona van Roijen, Luc Bonneux, Jan J. Barendregt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer costs in the Netherlands amounted to 4.8% of health care costs in 1988. For five cancer types, and a sixth group covering all other malignancies, costs were broken down by age, sex and disease phase. They showed a remarkably similar pattern of medical consumption. Costs were linked to observed incidence, mortality and estimated prevalence, together allowing for prediction of future costs of cancer. In 2020, as a result of ageing, cancer costs will have increased much more rapidly than total health care costs, in particular for cancer of the lung and prostate. Colorectal cancer costs were predicted for epidemiological scenarios. Our model shows that an increase in future prevalence may bear quite different cost implications. If it is due to higher incidence, the costs will increase substantially. If due to survival improvement, the increase will be less prominent. Simply extrapolating costs based on future prevalence or mortality may produce serious errors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-65
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
study was supported by 'Kraeftens Bekaem-


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