Estimating The Health And Economic Burden Of Cancer Among Those Diagnosed As Adolescents And Young Adults
Author: Gery P. Guy, K. Robin Yabroff, Donatus U. Ekwueme, Ashley Wilder Smith, Emily C. Dowling, Ruth Rechis, Stephanie Nutt, Lisa C. Richardson
Adolescent and young adult cancer survivors—those who were ages 15–39 at their first cancer diagnosis—have important health limitations. These survivors are at risk for higher health care expenditures and lost productivity, compared to adults without a history of cancer. Using Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data, we present nationally representative estimates of the economic burden among people who were diagnosed with cancer in adolescence or young adulthood. Our findings demonstrate that surviving cancer at this age is associated with a substantial economic burden. Compared to adults without a history of cancer, adolescent and young adult cancer survivors had excess annual medical expenditures of $3,170 per person and excess annual productivity losses of $2,250 per person. Multifaceted prevention strategies, including education and sustained intervention programs to ensure access to lifelong risk-based follow-up care, may be effective ways to improve the economic outcomes associated with cancer survivorship in this population.