About 1,660,290 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2013, excluding certain noninvasive cancers and skin cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.

It is therefore no surprise that the economic impact of the disease on patients, families and the economy as a whole is devastating. Click on the topics below to learn more.

Cancer Mortality

This year, about 577,190 Americans are expected to die of cancer – that’s more than 1,600 people a day.

  • Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease.
  • Cancer accounts for nearly 1 out of every 4 deaths in the United States.

The Cost of Cancer

Cancer costs billions of dollars. It also costs us the people we love. Reducing barriers to cancer care is critical in the fight to eliminate suffering and death due to cancer.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimated the 2007 overall annual costs of cancer as follows:

  • Total cost: $226.8 billion
  • Direct medical costs (total of all health expenditures): $103.8 billion
  • Indirect mortality costs (cost of lost productivity due to premature death): $123 billion

PLEASE NOTE: These estimates are not comparable to those published in previous years because as of 2011, the NIH is using a different data source: the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The MEPS estimates are based on more current, nationally representative data and are used extensively in scientific publications. As a result, direct and indirect costs will no longer be projected to the current year, and estimates of indirect morbidity costs have been discontinued. For more information, please visit

Cancer and the Uninsured

Cancer treatment is one of the major costs of cancer. But lack of health insurance and other barriers to health care prevent many Americans from even getting good, basic health care.

According to the US Census Bureau, almost 51 million people were uninsured in 2009.

  • About 28% of Americans ages 18 to 34 had no health insurance for at least part of the past year.
  • About 10% of children in the United States had no health insurance coverage.

According to American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2012:

  • Uninsured patients and those from ethnic minorities are substantially more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at a later stage, when treatment can be more extensive and more costly.” In fact, this leads not only to higher medical costs, but also poorer outcomes and higher cancer death rates.