Purpose: Early detection of gastric cancer is important to improve prognosis. Early detection enables local treatment, such as endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD). Therefore, we investigated whether early detection of gastric cancer could reduce healthcare costs by comparison according to stage and treatment modalities. Materials and Methods: Medical care costs were investigated according to tumor stage and initial treatment modality in 1,188 patients newly diagnosed with gastric cancer at 7 medical institutions from December 2011 to June 2012. Total medical care costs during the first-year after diagnosis (total first-year costs) were examined, including the costs of initial treatment, post-initial treatment, and inpatient and outpatient visits. Results: Stage I (75.3%) was the most common cancer stage. ESD was the second most common treatment following surgery. Total first-year costs increased significantly from stages I to IV. The costs of initial treatment and post-initial treatment were lowest in patients with stage I cancer. Among patients with stage I cancer, total first-year costs were significantly lower when treated by ESD; in particular, initial ESD treatment costs were much lower than others. Conclusions: The cost of healthcare has increased significantly with increasing cancer stages. ESD can greatly reduce medical care costs of gastric cancer. Thus, early detection of gastric cancer is important to reduce healthcare costs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research