Healthcare research: Cancer survivors spend more on healthcare

14th June 2011

New healthcare research has shown that cancer survivors spend more on healthcare than other people who have not been affected by the disease.

An investigation completed at Penn State University in the US showed that the medical care of somebody who has recovered from cancer is, on average, $4,000 to $5,000 more than those who have never had cancer.

Researchers believe this is because those who are treated for and survive cancer are more susceptible to later health complications.

Pamela Farley Short, who conducted the study, said: "The fact that so many people are surviving for a long time has shifted the attention of the oncology community – as well as public health officials – away from a focus simply on treatment and keeping people alive. Now they are starting to think about life after cancer."

Dr Short and her team looked at survivors ranging from 25 to 64 years in the study and compared their data with otherwise healthy people, asking how much did the fact of having cancer affect their annual health care bills.

Health issues encountered after cancer can range from premature menopause and sexual dysfunction to heart problems, according to doctors.

Posted by Phillip Briggs

1. Short, Pamela Farley. "Medical expenditures of adult cancer survivors aged under 65 in the United States." Cancer, 2010.
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