A new report from the AIHW, Health System Costs of Cancer in Australia 1993-94, provides the first systematic analysis of the total health system costs of different types of cancer in Australia. Cancer costs the Australian community almost $2 billion per year in direct health system costs, of which more than 80% are treatment costs.
In 1993-94 cancer accounted for 6% of total recurrent health expenditure compared with 12% for cardiovascular diseases, 12% for digestive system diseases and 9.5% for musculoskeletal problems. Cancer was responsible for 27% of all deaths in Australia in 1993-94.
AIHW's Principal Research Fellow, Dr Colin Mathers, said that the most expensive cancer is non-melanoma skin cancer-its estimated cost in 1993-94 was $232 million. 'This includes health interventions for benign skin tumours and in-situ skin cancers, as well as for invasive cancers. While non-melanoma skin cancer causes only a small number of deaths-379 in 1993-there were over 243,000 new cases that year.'
Colorectal cancer is the second highest contributor to direct costs (an estimated $205 million), ranks second in terms of cancer deaths (4,440 in 1993), and ranks third in terms of new cases (9,538 cases in 1994).
The cancers that account for the most health expenditure are:
Other findings of the report include:
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