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APR 16th 2014

10 Statistics On The Cost Of Cancer Treatment In America

APR 16th 2014
10 Statistics On The Cost Of Cancer Treatment In America

These days, more people are beating cancer thanks to advances in medical technology and healthcare.

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2 out of 3 people now live at least 5 years after a cancer diagnosis, which is up from 1 out of 2 people in the 1970s.

Unfortunately, even with health insurance, it’s coming at a financial cost that leaves many people vulnerable to medical debt and bankruptcy while having to keep up with the high cost of cancer care as well as all of the non-medical bills – like travel and lodging expenses for out-of-network care or lost work and wages.  

Here are 10 statistics about the cost of cancer treatment in America as researched by several health and cancer-related organizations:

  1. 67% of the total costs of cancer treatment are non-medical. (American Cancer Society)
  2. Total annual cost of cancer care in the U.S. is projected to reach $175 billion by 2020, an increase of 40% from 2010. (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
  3. Cancer drug prices have doubled in the past decade, from an average of $5,000 per month to more than $10,000. (Journal of National Cancer Institute)
  4. 11 of the 12 cancer drugs the FDA approved for fighting cancer in 2012 were priced at more than $100,000 per year. (Journal of National Cancer Institute)
  5. According to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality, cancer care cost an average of $85,201 per patient in 2010-2011. On average, cancer patients paid $3,664 in out-of-pocket medical expenses.
  6. A survey by the American Cancer Society revealed that one-quarter of cancer patients in the U.S. put off getting a test or treatment because of the cost.
  7. The same survey by the American Cancer Society found that 1 out of 5 respondents over the age of 65 said they had used all or much of their savings on cancer care.
  8. According to a Duke University Medical Center study of 250 cancer patients from around the country, out-of-pocket expenses averaged $712 a month for doctor visits, medicines, lost wages and travel to appointments. The study notes that all but one cancer patient had insurance, two-thirds were covered by Medicare, and the vast majority also had prescription drug coverage.
  9. According to an analysis by Milliman, cancer patients getting active treatment with chemotherapy account for 22% of cancer patients, but incur almost 4 times the per-person cost of cancer patients not receiving chemotherapy.
  10. The National Institutes of Health estimates that the overall costs of cancer in 2009 were more than $216 billion. This includes $86.6 billion for direct medical costs – the total of all health expenditures, and $130.0 billion for indirect mortality costs – the cost of lost productivity due to premature death.

To read recent news reports and statistics about the cost of cancer treatment, click here. And, to learn more about supplemental lump-sum cancer insurance policy options and critical illness plans that provide a lump-sum cash payment of up to $100,000 which can be used for medical and non-medical bills, go to

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