Cancer takes financial toll in many ways

Dec 06, 2010

Billions of dollars are lost to cancer each year.

Taking steps to avoid a cancer diagnosis can save people money while also allowing them a higher quality of life as they age.

In fact, the American Cancer Society highlighted a report this week which lays out the heavy financial costs that cancer imposes on society. According to the organization, the non-medical worldwide cost of cancer in 2008 was about $895 billion.

In contrast, heart disease was reported to have imposed $753 billion in economic costs nationwide. These figures include the economic toll caused by disability and premature death caused by cancer. The report also estimated that a combined 83 million years of "healthy life" are lost each year to cancer around the world.

According to the report, cancer takes a heavier economic toll than any other cause of death on earth, illustrating how widespread and severe the disease tends to be.

A cancer diagnosis also tends to result in higher costs for life insurance customers as well. Even survivors may find that they pay higher premiums than they would have otherwise, in part because of the perceived risk that they could have a relapse.

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