Garaszczuk R, Yong JHE, Sun Z, de Oliveira C.
Cancer patients and their families experience considerable financial hardship; however, the current published literature on the economic burden of cancer at the population level has typically focused on the costs from the health system’s perspective. This study aims to estimate the economic burden of cancer in Canada from a societal perspective. The analysis was conducted using the OncoSim-All Cancers model, a Canadian cancer microsimulation model. OncoSim simulates cancer incidence and deaths using incidence and mortality data from the Canadian Cancer Registry and demography projections from Statistics Canada. Using a phase-based costing framework, we estimated the economic burden of cancer in Canada in 2021 by incorporating published direct health system costs and patients’ and families’ costs (out-of-pocket costs, time costs, indirect costs). From a societal perspective, cancer-related costs were CAD 26.2 billion in Canada in 2021; 30% of costs were borne by patients and their families. The economic burden was the highest in the first year after cancer was diagnosed (i.e., initial care). During this time, patients and families’ costs amounted to almost CAD 4.8 billion in 2021. This study provides a comprehensive estimate of the economic burden of cancer, which could inform cost-benefit analyses of proposed cancer prevention interventions.