, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 1512-1514
Date: 28 Feb 2014

Cost Implications of the SSO-ASTRO Consensus Guideline on Margins for Breast-Conserving Surgery with Whole Breast Irradiation in Stage I and II Invasive Breast Cancer

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Over $125 billion is spent annually in the United States for cancer treatment.1 Among women in this country, breast cancer remains the most common nondermatologic cancer diagnosis and the second leading cause of cancer-related death. In 2010, breast cancer treatment costs were estimated at $16.5 billion, comprising 13 % of the burden of total cancer-related costs.2,3 Health care spending varies throughout the phases of breast cancer treatment, with ~23 % of total expenditures allocated during the initial episode of treatment (diagnosis and management during the first year), 41 % during continuing care, and 36 % during the last year of life.3,4 It has been estimated that surgical costs account for 25 % of breast cancer treatment expenditure among Medicare patients.5

An important contributor to health care costs includes deviations from the standard of care and variations in clinical practice that are not supported by evidence.6 Moreover, dramatic regional variations in health care spendi