Study: U.S. cancer patients live longer than those in Europe

June 10, 2012

The United States spends more on cancer care than European countries, but its patients typically live nearly 2 years longer, according to a study in the April issue of Health Affairs.

The United States spends more on cancer care than European countries, but its patients typically live nearly 2 years longer, according to a study in the April issue of Health Affairs.

Researchers found that the cost of cancer treatment in the United States was higher than the same care in 10 European countries from 1983 to 1999, but that patients in whom cancer was diagnosed during 1995 to 1999 lived an average of 11.1 years after diagnosis in the United States, compared with 9.3 years in Europe.

To determine whether the added longevity was worth the cost, researchers applied the standard metrics for valuing additional years of life in dollar terms. They found that the extra years were worth an an average of $61,000 for an individual cancer patient.