Epidemiology and cost of drug treatment of cancer in Northern Cyprus


Abstract: Background/aim: To determine the epidemiology, the sociodemographic features, the incidence and prevalence rate of cancer, and the cost of drug treatment in Northern Cyprus. Materials and methods: All of the oncology prescriptions, cancer pathology reports, and cancer referrals to overseas for 2011 were collected from the state hospitals, the only private university hospital that provides oncology services, and the Ministry of Health to prepare an epidemiological database. The total cost of drug treatment at the state hospitals and cost of the most frequent five cancer types were also calculated using the therapy protocols and the expense of the drugs. Results: The total incidence rate for all cancer cases in 2011 was 201 per 100,000 and the prevalence rate was 460 per 100,000. The five most common cancer types were breast (19.8%), prostate (12.6%), colorectal (9.7%), thyroid (6.4%), and lung (5.6%). The cost of drug treatment for cancer at the state hospitals comprises 25% of the total medical budget of the Directorate of Pharmaceuticals. Almost 1/3 of this amount was spent on drug treatment of breast cancer. Conclusion: Breast cancer is the most frequent and the most costly cancer type in Northern Cyprus. Of all the districts, the Güzelyurt-Lefke District has the highest cancer rate.

Keywords: Northern Cyprus, cancer, epidemiology, treatment, cost

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