Cost of melanoma – lost earnings

The below article says that, in the USA, there are 45000 cases of  melanoma a year, about 4 times the amount in Australia. We could therefore assume that melanomas cost the Australian economy about a quarter of what they cost in the USA, almost 2 Billion Australian dollars (the article is a little unclear on the 8 billion versus the 3.5 billion):


Melanoma costs U.S. billions in lost productivity

Washington, DC, United States (AHN) – A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that melanoma skin cancer costs the U.S. economy about $8 billion a year.

The report said that more than 45,000 cases of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, occurred every year between 2004 and 2006.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and melanoma is the third most common skin cancer – and the most likely to cause death. About 8,000 people die every year from the disease in the U.S.

Deaths caused by melanoma accounted for $3.5 billion in lost productivity every year. Deaths among men accounted for $2.4 billion of lost productivity, and deaths among women accounted for $1.2 billion in lost productivity, according to the study.

Researchers also said that a person who died of melanoma between 2000 and 2006 died 20 years prematurely, compared to 17 years from other cancers.

The report, “Melanoma Surveillance in the United States can be found at

  1. #1 by Hein Vandenbergh on October 23, 2011 - 1:56 am

    Interesting but overwhelming statistics for a non-economist.

    As a social comment, it appears to me that – despite the increased number of earning-years lost by women due to greater risk of oremature death from melanoma – if one divides the cost of female foregone earnings [‘economic/productivity loss’] by the number of female melanoma deaths, this could be food for those who claim that the glass ceiling is alive and well! The loss in $$/female death should be higher if there were greater earning equality between the genders…..

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