July 3—By actively engaging patients in reducing poor health habits that increase their risk of developing cancer, healthcare organizations worldwide could potentially reduce healthcare costs by $25 billion a year, according to a recent research report.

The report, released by GE Healthcare, analyzed research related to the effects of four poor health habits—smoking, alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity--and their relationship to developing three types of cancer: breast cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer. The study also calculated the cancer costs attributable to bad habits in 10 developed and developing markets. 

For example, inactivity and poor nutrition are often associated with weight gain, but this research also demonstrated that men who are inactive are 61 percent more likely to develop colon cancer than someone who is active. 

The research also breaks down the $33.9 billion annual global cost across 10 markets and includes the current annual cost of treating cancer and the calculated potential annual savings. The United States shoulders 54 percent of the annual global cost of cancer, at $18.41 billion, followed by China at 25.3 percent ($8.57 billion) and France, Germany, and Turkey at 4.4 percent ($1.5 billion). Read the report.

Publication Date: Wednesday, July 03, 2013