WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Worldwide, breast cancer treatment is associated with substantial financial toxicity, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online Feb. 8 in JAMA Network Open.

Anam N. Ehsan, M.B.B.S., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to quantify the financial toxicity rate of patients with breast cancer.

The researchers identified 34 studies, most from high-income countries (24 studies). The definition of financial toxicity had significant heterogeneity between studies. Using data from 18 studies in a pooled analysis, the financial toxicity rate was 35.3 percent in high-income countries and 78.8 percent in low- and middle-income countries.

“These findings suggest that patients with breast cancer worldwide are at risk for financial toxicity,” the authors write. “Policies designed to offset the burden of direct medical costs, through expansion of health care coverage, and direct nonmedical as well as indirect costs, through interventions such as transportation and child care facilities, are required to improve the financial health of vulnerable patients with breast cancer.”

One author disclosed receiving a patent for BREAST-Q, a patient-reported outcome measure for use in cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery and clinical practice.

Abstract/Full Text

Copyright © 2023 HealthDay. All rights reserved.