October 14, 2013 - 15:01 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Cancer costs countries in the European Union 126bn euro a year, according to the first EU-wide analysis of the economic impact of the disease.
BBC News said the figures, published in the Lancet Oncology, included the cost of drugs and health care as well as earnings lost through sickness or families providing care.
Lung cancer was the most costly form of the disease.
The team from the University of Oxford and King's College London analyzed data from each of the 27 nations in the EU in 2009. They showed the total cost was 126bn euro and of that 51bn euro was down to healthcare costs including doctors' time and drug costs.
Lost productivity, because of work missed through sickness or dying young, cost 52bn euro while the cost to families of providing care was put at 23bn euro.
Overall, richer countries, such as Germany and Luxembourg, spent more on cancer treatment per person than eastern European countries such as Bulgaria and Lithuania.
Lung cancer accounted for more than a tenth of all cancer costs in Europe. The deadly cancer tends to affect people at an earlier age than other cancers so the lost productivity through early deaths is a major factor.
However, the overall economic burden is behind the costs of dementia and cardiovascular disease.
An EU-wide study, by the same research group, showed cardiovascular diseases, including high blood pressure and stroke, cost 169bn euro a year while dementia cost 189bn euro in just 15 countries in Western Europe.
Dementia has very high costs associated with long-term care while cardiovascular diseases include such a wide range of conditions it affects many more people than cancer.
One of the researchers, Dr Ramon Luengo-Fernandez, from the Health Economics Research Centre at the University of Oxford, said: "By estimating the economic burden of several diseases it will be possible to help allocate public research funding towards the diseases with the highest burden and highest expected returns for that investment."
Prof Richard Sullivan, from King's College London, said: "It is vital that decision-makers across Europe use this information to identify and prioritize key areas.
"More effective targeting of investment may prevent health care systems from reaching breaking point - a real danger given the increasing burden of cancer - and in some countries better allocation of funding could even improve survival rates."
According to the World Health Organization data published in April of 2011, Armenia has gone from #1 to #4 in Breast Cancer death rate. The country now ranks #11 in Coronary Heart Disease up from #4, gone from #6 to #49 in Stroke, from #4 to #5 in Lung Cancer Death Rate. Another serious problem is Armenia's Diabetes death rate, which went from #15 to #11.