The current cost associated with cancer care is already high across the US, and according to a new study by researchers from RTI International and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in some states, it will nearly double by 2020.
Because of the growing elderly population, cancer-related medical costs could increase for certain states, like Arizona, by as much as 115 percent.
In addition to Arizona, other states that are projected to see increasing costs are California, Florida, Texas, and New York. While these five states may see costs increase to as much as $28.3 billion, other states such as Washington, D.C., Alaska, and Wyoming are predicted to have the lowest cancer-related costs, between $347 million and $539 million.
“The predictions reflect expected demographic shifts,” says Justin Trogdon, Ph.D., a health economist at RTI and the lead author of the study. The states that are expected to have an increase in cancer-related medical costs are those states with a resident population age of 65 and older.
Researchers obtained data from the 2004-2008 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, along with the US Census Bureau population information, to determine how many people in each state will likely require cancer treatment by the year 2020, as well as what the average cost will be.
In order to offset future cancer costs, it may be beneficial to increase and improve cancer screening programs for individuals residing in specific states. States such as Florida, California, and Texas should get special attention, because they are where researchers predict to see the largest increase in the number of people treated for cancer.
“Effective prevention and early detection strategies are needed to limit the growing burden of cancer,” says Trogdon. “We hope that these findings are useful for states as they try to make evidence-based decisions about the allocation of resources for cancer research and interventions as well as other policy decisions related to cancer prevention and treatment.”
We know that early detection is key for long-term survival and keeping cancer-related costs at a minimum, but how are we doing at implementing early detection? Where does early detection start?
Educating and collaborating with hospital staff, clinic staff, and primary care clinics may be a good place to begin