Example graph of Cost of Cancer Care

Key Facts

  • 18.1 million cancer survivors in 2020, 30% more than 2010
  • National cost of cancer care: $157 billion in 2010 dollars
  • Growth and aging of the U.S. population is the primary cause

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Graph by Cancer Site and Phase of Cancer
(See National cost of care or prevalence for cancer site, sex, age and year under various assumptions)

Projection Tables for 2020

National Cost for Cancer Care
Cancer Prevalence

Base Data

Average Annualized Net Costs of Care per patient

Cancer prevalence was estimated and projected by tumor site through 2020 using incidence and survival data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program and population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau. Annualized mean net costs of care per patient were estimated using Medicare claims linked to SEER data and adjusted to represent costs in 2010 US dollars. National costs was estimated by combining cancer prevalence and annualized mean net costs of care per patient.

Different scenarios for assumptions about trends in incidence, survival, and cost were assessed with sensitivity analysis1. Projections of current trends in incidence (declining) and survival (increasing) have almost no effect on these estimates. However, if costs of care increase annually by 2% in the initial and last year of life phases of care2, the total cost in 2020 is projected to be $174 billion.