Introduction: Studies reporting on the cost-effectiveness of cancer screening usually account for quality of life losses and healthcare costs owing to cancer but do not account for future costs and quality of life losses related to competing risks. This study aims to demonstrate the impact of medical costs and quality of life losses of other diseases in the life years gained on the cost-effectiveness of U.S. cancer screening. Methods: Cost-effectiveness studies of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening in the U.S. were identified using a systematic literature review. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of the eligible articles were updated by adding lifetime expenditures and health losses per quality-adjusted life year gained because of competing risks. This was accomplished using data on medical spending and quality of life by age and disease from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (2011–2015) combined with cause-deleted life tables. The study was conducted in 2018. Results: The impact of quality of life losses and healthcare expenditures of competing risks in life years gained incurred owing to screening were the highest for breast cancer and the lowest for cervical cancer. The updates suggest that incremental cost-effectiveness ratios are underestimated by $10,300–$13,700 per quality-adjusted life year gained if quality of life losses and healthcare expenditures of competing risks are omitted in economic evaluations. Furthermore, cancer screening programs that were considered cost saving, were found not to be so following the inclusion of medical expenditures of competing risks. Conclusions: Practical difficulties in quantifying quality of life losses and healthcare expenditures owing to competing risks in life years gained can be overcome. Their inclusion can have a substantial impact on the cost-effectiveness of cancer screening programs.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2019.07.027, hdl.handle.net/1765/121569
Journal American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Citation
Ratushnyak, S. (Svetlana), Hoogendoorn, M, & van Baal, P.H.M. (2019). Cost-Effectiveness of Cancer Screening: Health and Costs in Life Years Gained. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 57(6), 792–799. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2019.07.027