Societal impacts of treatment of early breast cancer: implications for future research, policy and practice
Jun 11, 2019
RAND Europe conducted a study on the societal impact of early breast cancer. This study was divided into three interconnected phases, which together aim to enrich the evidence base on the broader health, societal and economic impacts of treatment of early breast cancer, using a mixed methods approach. Our research focused on mapping the research landscape of treatment for early breast cancer, assessing the impact of recurrence on patients, their carers and wider society, and identifying the opportunities and barriers to accessing diagnosis and treatment in a selection of countries (Brazil, Canada, Italy, Spain and the UK). This summary report presents the findings of the cross-analysis of the data gathered collected through all three phases. We found that early breast cancer is generally perceived, leading policymakers and payers to underestimate the need for investment in further improvements and innovation in treatment and delivery of care in early breast cancer. However, the cost of treating metastatic disease is greater than the cost of treating early breast cancer. This cost extends beyond economic costs to include indirect costs to patients, carers, and wider society, and this cost is not being linked to investing in treatment for early breast cancer. There is a need to communicate the importance and highlight the benefits of new treatment options for early breast cancer.