In 2008, 2.45 million people were diagnosed with cancer and 1.23 million died because of cancer in the European Union (EU). What is the economic burden of cancer? A paper by Luengo-Fernandez (2013) aims to estimate just this quantity. They find that:
Cancer cost the EU €126 billion in 2009…Across the EU, the health-care costs of cancer were equivalent to €102 per citizen, but varied substantially from €16 per person in Bulgaria to €184 per person in Luxembourg…Lung cancer had the highest economic cost (€18·8 billion, 15% of overall cancer costs), followed by breast cancer (€15·0 billion, 12%), colorectal cancer (€13·1 billion, 10%), and prostate cancer (€8·43 billion, 7%).
The map below describes how the cost of cancer varies across countries as a percentage of national GDP.
- Ramon Luengo-Fernandez, Jose Leal, Alastair Gray, Richard Sullivan. Economic burden of cancer across the European Union: a population-based cost analysis. The Lancet Oncology 14 October 2013(Article in Press DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70442-X)