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The burden of cancer in Spain

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Cancer imposes a huge financial burden in all developed countries. This study estimates the burden of cancer in Spain in 2015.


The most recent available epidemiological data on prevalence, incidence and mortality, and the economic data on direct (hospital, drugs, and primary care) and indirect (productivity) costs was used from the social perspective.


Prevalence, incidence, and mortality were, respectively, 1240, 478, and 218 per 100,000 inhabitants. Mortality was higher for men, while disability rates were higher for women. Direct costs accounted for 4818 million euros and indirect costs were 640 million euros in 2015. Direct costs were almost completely borne by the hospital (94%). Total burden of cancer in Spain was 5458 million euros in 2015.


In Spain, the costs of cancer were mainly borne by the hospital and these costs might increase in the future due to the expected increase in longevity. Further research would be needed to investigate whether it is possible to redistribute the economic burden of cancer.

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The present study acknowledges an unrestricted Grant by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). We would also like to thank the anonymous referee that helped us with the comments to improve the paper.

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Correspondence to M. Tort.

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Conflict of interest

The first three authors have received funds from BMS. Eduardo Díaz-Rubio has a consulting/advisory role in Amgen, Bayer, Genómica, Servier and Merck and is Speaker in Servier and MSD. He has also received research funding from Roche, Merck-Serono, Amgen, Astra Zeneca and Sysmex. Carlos Camps has a consulting or advisory role in BMS, Bayer and Roche and is a speaker in Astra Zeneca. He has received research funding from BMS, Astra Zeneca and Sysmex.

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This research does not involve human participants and/or animals.

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Badía, X., Tort, M., Manganelli, A. et al. The burden of cancer in Spain. Clin Transl Oncol 21, 729–734 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12094-018-1972-7

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  • Burden of disease
  • Cancer
  • Oncology
  • Cost of illness