Background: The incidence and prevalence of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) have been steadily rising. NETs can arise in various parts of the body and have distinct pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, treatment, and survival compared to other neoplasms. The magnitude of the economic burden of NETs is largely unknown. This study aimed to estimate the cost of illness for NETs among elderly patients based on a large amount of observational data. Methods: We estimated the direct medical costs by phase of care using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare data, including claims from January 1, 2002 through to December 31, 2012. Patients’ care was categorized into three phases: initial phase (first year after diagnosis), terminal phase (last year of life), and continuing phase (the period between). We estimated the cost of illness by calculating the difference in medical costs between NET patients and a matched sample from a non-cancer control group. Results: Our study sample included 8409 elderly NET patients in the initial phase, 9218 patients in the continuing phase, and 7897 in the terminal phase. The mean cost of care for the initial phase was $46,462 in 2016 US dollars; mean cost of care for the terminal phase with a cancer-related death was $122,702; while the mean cost of care for the continuing phase was $10,457. The mean 5-year cost was $87,079. Conclusions: This population-based study showed that NET patients had substantial continuing phase costs and 5-year costs. Among elderly NET patients, those with pancreas as the primary cancer site had the highest costs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health