Economic burden for lung cancer survivors in urban China Academic Article uri icon


  • With the rapid increase in the incidence and mortality of lung cancer, a growing number of lung cancer patients and their families are faced with a tremendous economic burden because of the high cost of treatment in China. This study was conducted to estimate the economic burden and patient responsibility of lung cancer patients and the impact of this burden on family income.This study uses data from a retrospective questionnaire survey conducted in 10 communities in urban China and includes 195 surviving lung cancer patients diagnosed over the previous five years. The calculation of direct economic burden included both direct medical and direct nonmedical costs. Indirect costs were calculated using the human capital approach, which measures the productivity lost for both patients and family caregivers. The price index was applied for the cost calculation.The average economic burden from lung cancer was $43,336 per patient, of which the direct cost per capita was $42,540 (98.16%) and the indirect cost per capita was $795 (1.84%). Of the total direct medical costs, 35.66% was paid by the insurer and 9.84% was not covered by insurance. The economic burden for diagnosed lung cancer patients in the first year following diagnosis was $30,277 per capita, which accounted for 171% of the household annual income, a percentage that fell to 107% after subtracting the compensation from medical insurance.The economic burden for lung cancer patients is substantial in the urban areas of China, and an effective control strategy to lower the cost is urgently needed.

publication date

  • 2017