Lost Productivity from Colorectal Cancer Costs Billions

In 2010, 28,748 people died from colon and rectal cancer amounting to $21 billion in lost productivity.

Had optimal prevention and treatment strategies available in 2005 been used, 3,586 of those deaths could have been avoided saving $1.4 billion.

Based on a computer model, reducing risk factors, improving screening, and using optimal treatment could reduce deaths between 2005 and 2020 by 101,353 and save $33.9 billion.

According to a model developed at Virginia Commonwealth University and the National Cancer Institute, the $33.9 billion in savings would come from:

  • $14.7 billion from improved screening.
  • $12.4 billion from reducing risks for colorectal cancer.
  •  $ 8.4 billion from improved treatment.

Cathy J. Bradley PhD and her colleagues concluded,

The savings in productivity loss from strategies to reduce CRC incidence and mortality are substantial, providing evidence that CRC prevention and control strategies are likely to be cost-saving.


Bradley et al., American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 41, Issue 2, August 2011.


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