Seabury, Goldman, Chandra, Lakdawalla, and colleagues found that improved treatment options and better early detection have led to significant survival gains for cancer patients diagnosed from 1997 to 2007, generating considerable social value over this time period. Although significant improvements in treatment and screening efforts have been developed for many types of cancer over the past decade, the effects of these advancements on the survival of cancer patients has been unknown. Using a retrospective analysis of SEER Registry data to quantify reductions in mortality rates for cancer patients diagnosed between 1997 and 2007, the researchers estimate that three-year, cancer-related mortality of patients fell 16.7% from 1997 to 2007. Overall, advances in treatment reduced mortality rates by approximately 12.2% while advances in early detection reduced mortality rates by 4.5%. The relative importance of treatment and detection varied across cancer types. Improvements in detection were most important for thyroid, prostate and kidney cancer. Improvements in treatment were most important for non-Hodgkins lymphoma, lung cancer and myeloma.
The full study is available at Forum for Health Economics and Policy.
Citation: Seabury, S. A., Goldman, D. P., Gupta, C. N., Khan, Z. M., Chandra, A., Philipson, T. J., & Lakdawalla, D. N. (2016, June). Quantifying Gains in the War on Cancer Due to Improved Treatment and Earlier Detection. Forum for Health Economics and Policy.