Aims The economic burden of cancer care is substantial, including steep increases in costs for breast cancer management. There is mounting evidence that women age ≥ 60 years with grade I/II T1N0 luminal A (ER/PR+, HER2– and Ki67 ≤ 13%) breast cancer have such low local recurrence rates that adjuvant breast radiotherapy might offer limited value. We aimed to determine the total savings to a publicly funded health care system should omission of radiotherapy become standard of care for these patients. Materials and methods The number of women aged ≥ 60 years who received adjuvant radiotherapy for T1N0 ER+ HER2– breast cancer in Ontario was obtained from the provincial cancer agency. The cost of adjuvant breast radiotherapy was estimated through activity-based costing from a public payer perspective. The total saving was calculated by multiplying the estimated number of luminal A cases that received radiotherapy by the cost of radiotherapy minus Ki-67 testing. Results In 2010, 748 women age ≥ 60 years underwent surgery for pT1N0 ER+ HER2– breast cancer; 539 (72%) underwent adjuvant radiotherapy, of whom 329 were estimated to be grade I/II luminal A subtype. The cost of adjuvant breast radiotherapy per case was estimated at $6135.85; the cost of Ki-67 at $114.71. This translated into an annual saving of about $2.0million if radiotherapy was omitted for all low-risk luminal A breast cancer patients in Ontario and $5.1million across Canada. Conclusion There will be significant savings to the health care system should omission of radiotherapy become standard practice for women with low-risk luminal A breast cancer.
- Breast cancer
- cost savings
- luminal A
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging