The economic burden of illness associated with localized prostate cancer in the United States

Written by Gary Gustavsen, Laura Gullet, Doria Cole et al.

As the most common malignancy affecting American men, prostate cancer poses a significant financial burden on the United States healthcare system. The purpose of the latest research article published by Future Oncology is to estimate the costs associated with prostate cancer management for a US commercial health plan over 10 years, based on the current paradigm for the treatment of prostate cancer and associated cost of care, and inclusive of all treatment modalities and risk groups.


Background: Prior studies have established the economic burden of prostate cancer on society. However, changes to screening, novel therapies, and increased use of active surveillance, create a need for an updated analysis.

Methods: A deterministic, decision-analytic model was developed to estimate medical costs associated with localized prostate cancer over 10 years.

Results: 10-year costs averaged $45,957, $99,445, and $188,928 for low-, intermediate-, and high-risk patients, respectively. For low-risk patients, active surveillance 10-year costs averaged $33,912/patient, whereas definitive treatment averaged $49,667/patient. Despite higher failure rates in intermediate-risk patients, active surveillance remained less costly than definitive treatment, with 10-year costs averaging $90,614/patient and $99,394/patient, respectively.

Conclusion: Broader incorporation of active surveillance, guided by additional prognostic tools, may mitigate this growing economic burden.

Read the full paper here