Estimating the Cost of Cancer Care for a State

Tan, Alai; Freeman, Daniel H.; Philips, Billy U.
September 2011
Texas Public Health Journal;Fall2011, Vol. 63 Issue 4, p18
Academic Journal
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has developed a framework for estimating the cost of cancer care using linked data from Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare databases. However, for states that are outside of SEER areas and for those lacking cancer registry-claims linked data, using the NCI framework presents a challenge. We illustrate an adaptive use of the NCI method with Texas as an exemplar. We estimated that for 2007 the cost of cancer care in Texas was $7.7 billion; approximately $1.0 billion for lung/bronchus cancer, $1.1 billion for colorectal cancer, $955.5 million for prostate cancer, and $923.7 million for breast cancer. Our estimates include the cost of care associated with eighteen common cancer sites as well as costs for each Health Service Region (HSR) in the state. This study is the fi rst to estimate cancer care costs using Texas Cancer Registry (TCR) incidence data, which currently meet national high quality data standards. The study demonstrates that it is feasible for a state to estimate the cost of cancer care using an adapted NCI method and state cancer registry data. This method can be used to examine issues related to cancer costs, including regional disparities in the cost of care.


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