Cancer kills many people before their time, costing more than 8.7 million years of life among people aged 16 to 84 in the United States in 2015. Researchers estimate cancer also leads to $94 billion in future lost earnings, not just in 2015. These numbers come from a new report by American Cancer Society (ACS) researchers in JAMA Oncology.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US and expected to cause more than 606,880 deaths in 2019. Beyond the loss felt by loved ones, these deaths cut earning years short, reducing the work force and leading to a big economic burden. Calculating lost years of life and lost earnings is a common approach that researchers use to make the economic and social costs of premature deaths clearer to decision-makers, who can use this data to help set health policies and prioritize budgets and resources for cancer research, as well as for prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment. Compared to other studies, this one used more recent data and estimated losses at the state level as well as nationally.
Investigators led by Farhad Islami, MD, PhD, calculated person-years of life lost using numbers of cancer deaths and life expectancy data in people aged 16 to 84 years who died from cancer in the US in 2015. The researchers added all the years each of the 492,146 people were expected to live if they’d never developed cancer to estimate there were a total of 8,739,939 life years lost.
Get more HERE.
Featured image credit: American Cancer Society.