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Gaceta Sanitaria

versão impressa ISSN 0213-9111


IBARRONDO, Oliver et al. Health care costs of breast, prostate, colorectal and lung cancer care by clinical stage and cost component. Gac Sanit [online]. 2022, vol.36, n.3, pp.246-252.  Epub 30-Set-2022. ISSN 0213-9111.


To measure 3-year care costs of breast, prostate, colorectal and lung cancers disaggregated by site and clinical stage.


A retrospective observational design was employed to investigate care costs of cases recorded in the Registry of the Basque Country between 2010 and 2015. Data gathered included TNM stage and demographic, clinical and resource use variables. Total costs per patient with stage IV disease were calculated by combining generalized linear models with parametric survival analysis. Unit costs were obtained from the analytical accounting system of the Basque Health Service.


The sample comprised 23,782 cancer cases (7801 colorectal, 5530 breast, 4802 prostate and 5649 lung cancer). The mean 3-year costs per patient with stage I to III disease were €11,323, €13,727, €8,651 and €12,023 for colorectal, breast, prostate and lung cancer, respectively. The most important cost components were surgery and chemotherapy. Total survival-adjusted costs until death for patients with stage IV disease (€27,568, €26,296, €16,151 and €15,931 for breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer, respectively) were higher than the 3-year costs for those with earlier-stage disease.


This study quantitatively shows the pattern of changes in the economic burden of cancer throughout its natural history and the great magnitude of this burden for the health system. The use of indicators based on real-world data from each regional health service would allow cancer care in each region to be tailored to local population needs.

Palavras-chave : Colorectal cancer; Breast cancer; Lung cancer; Prostate cancer; TNM stage; Costs; Chemotherapy; Radiotherapy; Surgery; Real-world data.

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