Facing scarce resources, policymakers must determine how best to invest in their country’s future. Investment in health can save costs and facilitate economic growth by increasing productivity. Economic analyses help governments and international donors identify health practices that are not only feasible, but also the best value for money.
The exact global cost of cancer is unknown, but it is undoubtedly well into the hundreds of billions of dollars per year. In the United States alone, the estimated cost of cancer in 2009, including direct medical costs as well as the cost of lost productivity due to premature death, was US$216.6 billion per year. The global cost of cancer is expected to increase due to increases in the number of new cancer cases as well as the growing cost of cancer therapies.