ARTICLE | Clinical News

Study examines differences in U.S., European cancer care

April 10, 2012 1:08 AM UTC

A statistical analysis of cancer care from 1983-99 showed that U.S. patients achieved greater and more valuable survival gains than European patients, even after considering the higher cost of U.S. cancer care. The study, published in Health Affairs, found that after subtracting the additional $158 billion spent by the U.S. compared with the spending by a group of ten European countries, U.S. patients received $598 billion in additional value compared to the European patients. Based on prior studies, the researchers valued a statistical life-year at $150,000 to calculate the value of the survival gains.

For cancer patients diagnosed during the study's most recent period of 1995-99, adjusted average survival in the U.S. was 11.1 years from diagnosis vs. 9.3 years among the European countries. During the entire period, survival gains for patients diagnosed in the U.S. -- increases in years of life expectancy from diagnosis seen over time -- exceeded those achieved by the European countries for most cancer types. ...