WASHINGTON, June 12 (Xinhua) -- The annual excess economic burden of cancer survivorship in the United States was estimated at about 4,000 U.S. dollars per survivor, according to a study released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The study, published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, analyzed data from a national survey between 2008 and 2011 to estimate annual medical costs and productivity losses among U.S. cancer survivors aged 18 years and older, and among persons without a cancer diagnosis.
Lost productivity was estimated by reviewing employment disability, or being unable to work because of illness or injury, health-related missed work days, and days spent in bed due to ill health.
It showed that male cancer survivors in the U.S. have average annual medical costs of more than 8,000 dollars per person, and productivity losses of 3,700 dollars compared to males without a history of cancer at 3,900 dollars and 2,300 dollars respectively.
Female cancer survivors have 8,400 dollars in annual medical costs per person and 4,000 dollars in productivity losses compared to females without a history of cancer at 5,100 dollars and 2,700 dollars, respectively.
"The results of this analysis indicate that overall, cancer survivors had total annual medical expenditures estimated at 4,187 dollars more for males and 3,293 dollars more for females, compared with those of persons without a cancer history," the researchers wrote.
The report also found that about 10 percent of survivors aged 65 years and younger were uninsured and likely to have a larger financial burden compared to survivors with some source of payment for medical services.
In addition, nearly 32 percent of these survivors experienced limitations in their usual daily activities and 42 percent had to make changes to their work hours and duties.
The findings in this report support data released in a recent CDC study about the significant financial challenges experienced by survivors of adolescent and young adult cancers, the agency said.
"Cancer survivors face physical, emotional, psychosocial, employment and financial challenges as a result of their cancer diagnosis and treatment," Donatus Ekwueme, a senior health economist at CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, said in a statement.
"With the number of cancer survivors expected to increase by more than 30 percent in the next decade -- to 18 million Americans -- medical and public health professionals must be diligent in their efforts to help reduce the burden of cancer on survivors and their families," Ekwueme added.