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This estimate does not include increases in the cost of cancer treatment itself, which would push expenditures even higher.  These results were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Cancer disproportionately affects the elderly, and the elderly population in the US is expected to increase from 40 million in 2009 to 70 million in 2030. The growth of the elderly population will increase the number of people living with common chronic health conditions such as cancer.

To explore how changes in the US population will affect cancer care costs, researchers collected information about population growth and age structure, as well as cancer incidence and prevalence.

In a summary of these findings, the editors of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute note “Expanding costs of cancer care due to increases in an aging population are inevitable, but the costs of new treatments and diagnostic technologies could potentially be managed to ensure access to quality care for all patients.”

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Reference: Mariotto AB, Yabroff KR, Shao Y, Feuer EJ, Brown ML. Projections of the cost of cancer care in the United States: 2010-2020. JNCI. Early online publication January 11, 2011.

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