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Cancer cost US more than $94 billion in lost earnings in 2015

Published on 04/07/19 at 10:52am

Cancer deaths cost the US economy $94.4 billion in lifetime earnings in 2015, according to figures from the American Cancer Society.    

“The economic burden of lost earnings from premature cancer deaths in the United States appears to be significant,” the American Cancer Society said.

The study estimated that the 492,146 people who died of cancer in 2015 could have lived for a combined total of 8.7 million more years.

If not for cancer, these lost years could have generated billions for the US economy, with Utah losing out on $19.6 million compared $35.3 million for those in Kentucky. In general the loss was biggest in the South and smallest in the West.  

The discrepancy can be explained by the high number of smokers and low numbers of people covered by insurance in Southern states.

While 75% of those in Utah with early stage lung cancer went in for treatment, just 50% of those in Louisiana did the same.

Fewer than half of those living in the South had insurance through their employer compared to 60% of those in Utah.

Louis Goss

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