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Cancer Deaths in US Cost $94 Billion

In the U.S., cancer deaths among people between age 16 and 84 cost nearly 9 million years of life, with over $94 billion in lost earnings in 2015.

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According to a new study, cancer continues to take a drastic personal toll and a high financial burden on Americans.

The report published Wednesday in JAMA Oncology found that the “cancer deaths among people between age 16 and 84 cost the U.S. nearly 9 million years of life and more than $94 billion in lost earnings in 2015.”

Overall, more than 492,000 cancer deaths in 2015 averaged out to $191,900 in lost earnings for each cancer death.

Study author and a researcher at the American Cancer Society (ACS) Dr. Farhad Islami said, “Years of life lost and lost earnings were high for many cancers for which there are modifiable risk factors and effective screening and treatment, which suggests that a substantial proportion of our current national mortality burden is potentially avoidable.”

The report found that lung cancer deaths cost the most, with a total loss of $21.3 billion, which represented 22.5 percent of all deaths related to cancer.

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Colorectal cancer deaths cost $9.4 billion, accounting for 10 percent of cancer deaths, which was followed by pancreatic cancer deaths at $6.1 billion, accounting for 6.5 percent of cancer deaths.

Cancer is the second leading cause of deaths in the United States, according to the ACS. Dr. Islami said, “Applying comprehensive cancer prevention interventions and ensuring equitable access to high-quality care across all states could reduce the burden of cancer and associated geographic and other differences in the country.” He added, “Health care professionals can contribute to achieving this goal because they play a central role in the delivery of cancer prevention, screening, and treatment.”

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