Health System Costs of Metastatic Breast Cancer
To assess the costs of treating patients with incurable breast cancer, all health system costs during the interval from diagnosis of first recurrence or metastasis until death for 75 female subjects randomly selected from those known to have died of breast cancer in British Columbia, Canada between July 1, 1995 and December 31, 1996, were identified. Costs were determined from several databases within the British Columbia (BC) Ministry of Health, as well as from BC Cancer Agency patient charts. The mean total cost to the health system was CDN $36,474.33 (95% confidence interval $29,752-$43,196) per subject. The mean costs were highest for the youngest age group and lowest for the middle age group, but these only differed by $2,300. Inpatient costs accounted for the greatest proportion of the total, over 50% in all age groups. This data may be valuable in assessing the cost-effectiveness of interventions that are known to affect mortality due to breast cancer.
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