Breathe: A cost-effectiveness evaluation of breath-based lung cancer screenings

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New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data and Training


Current incidence rates of lung cancer in the United States show that per 100,000 population, lung cancer will occur in 49 women and 60 men. Nearly half a million individuals in the United States were diagnosed with lung cancer between 2013 and 2017, and Canadian prevalence rates are similar: nearly 30,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. Mortality due to lung cancer is significant as well: approximately 130,000 people in the US and 21,000 people in Canada die annually due to lung cancer. Costs for treatment are also substantial, totaling about $2 billion per year in Canada, or approximately $70,000 per case. The high cost per case of cancer arises from many factors, central among them the advanced stage at diagnosis of many tumors leading to expensive therapies and treatments, costs for formal and informal caregivers, and life-years lost. The incidence and high mortality and costs associated with lung cancer show that lowering both the percentage of people receiving lung cancer diagnoses and the costs of treating lung cancer are important issues for our healthcare systems.