A study released in 2001 by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) puts annual cancer costs in Texas at nearly $14 billion. This figure is more than triple the previous estimate of $4.4 billion, based on a 1988 study that relied primarily on national data to assess cancer's yearly economic impact in the state.
David Warner, Ph.D., Roy McCandless, Lauren Jahnke and associates at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin conducted the eight-month study for DSHS. The study was funded by the DSHS Comprehensive Cancer Control Grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study, based on 1998 data, places direct medical costs at $4.8 billion and indirect costs from lost productivity at $9.1 billion for a total annual cost of $13.9 billion.
"Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Texas, accounting for nearly 23 percent of all deaths," said Dr. Charles Bell, DSHS Executive Deputy Commissioner. "These new figures can help communities assess how much is needed for cancer prevention and treatment. From a public health policy standpoint, this information will help in setting priorities for health investments and in monitoring trends."
For this study, direct medical costs include hospital inpatient and associated physician services, outpatient treatment, emergency services, home health and hospice care, cancer screening, drugs, state agency expenditures and some private foundation costs. Hospital costs were estimated from newly available data from the Texas Health Care Information Council.
Indirect costs reflect lost productivity from illness and early death, including work in and outside the home.
Total costs for the four most prevalent cancers were estimated at $2.2 billion for lung cancer, $1.2 billion each for breast and colorectal cancer and $445 million for prostate cancer. In the United States, half of all men and a third of all women will develop cancer.
"We all know firsthand the human costs of cancer, and now we know the dollar value of losses this disease works on the economic viability of Texas," said Billy U. Philips Jr., Ph.D., chair of the Texas Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition. "This report should call us all to redouble our efforts to avoid this disease by living wisely - particularly by not smoking, by following proper dietary guidelines and by obtaining screening from physicians when it is indicated."
For the entire text of the Economic Impact of Cancer in Texas study, visit the DSHS Comprehensive Cancer Control Program at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/tcccp/pdf/seconded.pdf (PDF).
(For more information contact Marci Spivey, DSHS Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, at (512) 458-7534; or Emily Palmer, DSHS Assistant Public Information Officer, at (512) 458-7400.)
Making the Texas Cancer Plan a Reality: Cost Estimates for Implementation 2008
Information from the American Cancer Society Web Site
The Texas Cancer Plan is a statewide blueprint for cancer prevention and control in Texas. The document (PDF) was prepared by the Texas Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition (TCCC) and represents best available estimates of what additional funds are currently needed to reasonably implement the Texas Cancer Plan given existing program funding and capacity for services. The TCCC obtained readily available information about existing resources for cancer prevention and control. The coalition acknowledges that significant resources are available that are not identified in this document, particularly in the areas of early detection and treatment (e.g., Medicaid expenditures). The coalition used and developed logical cost models and made realistic assumptions to estimate what additional resources may be needed beyond the current resources to achieve the objectives and goals of the Texas Cancer Plan.
Copies of this document are available through American Cancer Society, High Plains Division at (512) 919-1800.