It still affects our economic situation: long-term economic burden of breast cancer and lymphedema

Lorraine T. Dean1, Shadiya L. Moss, Yusuf Ransome, Livia Frasso-Jaramillo, Yuehan Zhang, 

Kala Visvanathan, Lauren Hersch Nicholas, Kathryn H. Schmitz 

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Main findings

  • The study provides evidence that costs for women with lymphedema remain significantly elevated long after cancer treatment. On average, there is a US $500–$1215 difference. These economic burdens occur even among those who have health insurance.
  • Although women with and without lymphedema experience a similar number of economically burdensome events and comorbidities, high out-of-pocket costs for women with breast cancer-related lymphedema lead to a cascade of other economic challenges that persist long after cancer treatment. Future work should explore patient-driven recommendations to reduce economic burden after cancer