Medical Education - Research Publications
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ItemThe cost of breast cancer recurrences.Hurley, SF ; Huggins, RM ; Snyder, RD ; Bishop, JF (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 1992-03)Information about the costs of recurrent breast cancer is potentially important for targeting cost containment strategies and analysing the cost-effectiveness of breast cancer control programmes. We estimated these costs by abstracting health service and consumable usage data from the medical histories of 128 patients, and valuing each of the resources used. Resource usage and costs were summarised by regarding the recurrence as a series of episodes which were categorised into five anatomical site-based groups according to the following hierarchy: visceral, central nervous system (CNS), bone, local and other. Hospital visits and investigations comprised 78% of total costs for all episodes combined, and there were significant differences between the site-based groups in the frequency of hospital visits and most investigations. Total costs were most accurately described by separate linear regression models for each group, with the natural logarithm of the cost of the episode as the dependent variable, and predictor variables including the duration of the episode, duration squared, duration cubed and a variable indicating whether the episode was fatal. Visceral and CNS episodes were associated with higher costs than the other groups and were more likely to be shorter and fatal. A fatal recurrence of duration 15.7 months (the median for our sample) was predicted to cost $10,575 (Aus + 1988; or 4,877 pounds). Reduction of the substantial costs of recurrent breast cancer is likely to be a sizable economic benefit of adjuvant systemic therapy and mammographic screening. We did not identify any major opportunities for cost containment during the management of recurrences.