Adverse breast cancer treatment effects: The economic case for making rehabilitative programs standard of care

Schmitz, Kathryn H., DiSipio, Tracey, Gordon, Louisa G, & Hayes, Sandra C. (2015) Adverse breast cancer treatment effects: The economic case for making rehabilitative programs standard of care. Supportive Care in Cancer, 23(6), pp. 1807-1817.

[img] Accepted Version (PDF 283kB)
Administrators only until June 2916 | Request a copy from author

View at publisher



The purpose of this work was to evaluate the patient-borne financial cost of common, adverse breast cancer treatment-associated effects, comparing cost across women with or without these side-effects.


287 Australian women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer were prospectively followed starting at six months post-surgery for 12 months, with three-monthly assessment of detailed treatment-related side effects and their direct and indirect patient costs attributable to breast cancer. Bootstrapping statistics were used to analyze cost data and adjusted logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between costs and adverse events from breast cancer. Costs were inflated and converted from 2002 Australian to 2014 US dollars.


More than 90% of women experienced at least one adverse effect (i.e. post-surgical issue, reaction to radiotherapy, upper-body symptoms or reduced function, lymphedema, fatigue or weight gain). On average, women paid $5,636 (95%CI: $4,694, $6,577) in total costs. Women with any one of the following symptoms (fatigue, reduced upper-body function, upper-body symptoms) or women who report ≥4 adverse treatment-related effects, have 1.5 to nearly 4 times the odds of having higher healthcare costs than women who do not report these complaints (p<0.05).


Women face substantial economic burden due to a range of treatment-related health problems, which may persist beyond the treatment period. Improving breast cancer care by incorporating prospective surveillance of treatment-related side effects, and strategies for prevention and treatment of concerns (e.g., exercise) has real potential for reducing patient-borne costs.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
6 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 79317
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: breast cancer, economics, survivorship care, surveillance model, rehabilitation
DOI: 10.1007/s00520-014-2539-y
ISSN: 0941-4355
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > ONCOLOGY AND CARCINOGENESIS (111200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright Statement: The final publication is available at Springer via
Deposited On: 09 Dec 2014 23:52
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 11:02

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page