27 Sep 2011

Cancer treatment costs heading for crisis

3:08 pm on 27 September 2011

The cost of treating cancer in the developed world is heading toward a crisis according to an international team of researchers.

Their findings published in The Lancet Oncology Report say more patients are being treated for cancer and the cost of treating each patient is also increasing.

About 12 million people a year are diagnosed with cancer throughout the world and that figure is expected to rise to more than 27 million by 2030.

The BBC reports the annual cost to treat new cancer cases is estimated to be £185 billion.

The report says most developed countries dedicate between 4% to 7% of their healthcare budgets to dealing with cancer.

In addition, it says tricky issues like balancing extra months of life for patients against the costs of new drugs and technology should be debated and resolved.

The report says solutions fall into two categories: reducing the cost of services or reducing the number of people using them.