The Future is in Our Hands
Information, Awareness, Prevention / United to End Cancer

Data in Figure  published42 by National Cancer Institute, gathered by World Health Organization and adapted by American Cancer Society demonstrate that money used to fight cancer is wasted. If the most industrialized countries[1], with their annual cancer cost of $856 per capita, were getting their money’s worth, their cancer death rate would be lower than the less industrialized countries with a much lower cost for cancer per capita. Data reported in Figure  show this not to be true because the most industrialized countries are not located at the bottom of the figure.

[1]data_en_3_wasted_money The 38 most industrialized countries listed by the Human Development Index (HDI) rank from highest to lowest: 1. Norway, 2. Australia, 3. Iceland, 4. Canada, 5. Ireland, 6. The Netherlands, 7. Sweden, 8. France, 9. Switzerland, 10. Japan, 11. Luxemburg, 12. Finland, 13. United States, 14. Austria, 15. Spain, 16. Denmark, 17. Belgium, 18. Italy, 19. Liechtenstein, 20. New Zealand, 21. United Kingdom, 22. Germany, 23.Singapore, 24. Hong Kong, 25. Greece, 26. South Korea, 27. Israel, 28. Andorra, 29. Slovenia, 30. Brunei, 31. Kuwait, 32. Cyprus, 33. Qatar, 34. Portugal, 35. United Arab Emirates, 36. Czech Republic, 37. Barbados, 38. Malta.


Figure  – Data demonstrate that money used to fight cancer is wasted. The figure shows cancer mortality rates in the world for every 100,000 people. Source: World Health Organization (WHO), American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute. See the pencil numbers on the left indicating the most industrialized countries listed below which are spending $856/year per person that are not located at the bottom of the graph, thus demonstrating that money is wasted.

A.1.1  Reduce the wasteful spending on cancer that does not produce results: Global Economic Cost of Cancer is $1.4 trillion per year.

The $1.4 trillion/year Global Economic Cost of Cancer was calculated based on the Livestrong and American Cancer Society (ACS) report dated June 2010. On page 8 of the LiveStrong-ACS report5, cancer shows a global economic cost of $895 billion/year. On page 2 of the same report it states: “The total economic impact of premature death and disability from cancer worldwide was $895 billion in 2008. This figure represents 1.5 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). …This analysis did not include direct cancer medical costs, which would further increase the total economic cost caused by cancer”. This data can be found on page 3 of the 2010 ACS report[i] being $102.8 billion for the United States. (It also shows that cancer costs increased24 100 times during the past 50 years). We can estimate this additional direct cancer medical cost in Europe to be $160 billion, Japan’s at $55 billion, and for all other countries to be $200 billion, making a total global economical cancer cost of $1.4 trillion/year.


A way of visualizing $1.4 trillion is to think of a stack of $100 bills that would be 1,150 miles high (or the distance from Dallas to Washington DC or from London to Cosenza, Italy), or spending $45,000 per second for one year. However, because of the increasing cost of cancer, next year you will have to spend $50,000 per second. See the figure below how economic loss from cancer compares to the top 15 Global Causes of Death as reported by LiveStrong and the ACS.


Figure – Economic loss from the Top 15 Global Causes of Death as reported by LiveStrong and the American Cancer Society. Cancer is the leading economic loss; if one adds direct medical cancer costs which are not included in this table, then the economic loss from cancer is even more staggering

[i] American Cancer Society (ACS) – 2010 Report on Cancer Facts & Figures See also references to ACS reports from previous years showing that direct medical expenses for cancer treatment in the U.S. increased 100 times

This post is also available in: Italian

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