How Much does Cancer Treatment Cost?

It is fantastically difficult to find this information because, as you probably already know, the typical cost for a disease can vary hugely depending on how well-organized the local health care system is or isn’t, how much the local people charge, and what kind of deals providers have cut with your insurance compan
For some of her studies, Karen Pollitz of Georgetown worked up the cost of a typical course of treatment for early-stage breast cancer (lumpectomy, chemo & radiation, sorry), normal & complicated childbirth, heart attack w/angioplasty & bypass, a year with Type II diabetes, and late-stage colon cancer.
Here is what it involved: working with medical experts to come up with the components of a “typical” course of treatment and translating them into CPT codes. This many office visits, this many chemo infusions, this many doses of XYZ drug, this many hospital days and so on. Then she paid a king’s ransom to a national database company that collects claims information from insurance companies on tens of thousands of actual patients, from which she was able to derive average national insurance reimbursements. The whole process took months and cost tens of thousands of dollars.
You can find more information, including links to .pdfs of the studies, on her website,

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