The effect of screening on treatment cost: The case of colorectal cancer
This paper presents a medical cost function developed for a screening programme. The medical cost function is a function of advancement both directly and indirectly through survival. We discuss how the medical cost function is affected by screening through a shift in the distribution of cancers according to advancement. We show that screening reduces the treatment cost for cancers diagnosed at the screening, even though the medical cost function not unambiguously increases with stage of advancement. This is the first step in a cost-effectiveness analysis, and even though the results are favourable to the introduction of screening for colorectal cancer as a preventive health measure, total screening costs and health benefits must be evaluated to arrive at a recommendation.
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