568P_PR - Changes in household income levels as a result of cancer diagnosis and treatment – A single centre study

Date 18 December 2016
Event ESMO Asia 2016 Congress
Session Poster lunch
Topics Bioethics, Legal, and Economic Issues
Presenter Anupriya Agarwal
Citation Annals of Oncology (2016) 27 (suppl_9): ix184-ix189. 10.1093/annonc/mdw603
Authors A. Agarwal1, D.J. Karikios2, P. Beale1, M.R. Stockler3, P. Blinman1, A. Linton1, A. Goodwin1, R.L. Morton4
  • 1Medical Oncology, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, 2139 - Sydney/AU
  • 2Nepean Cancer Care Centre, Nepean Hospital, 2751 - Sydney/AU
  • 3Nhmrc Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, 1450 - Sydney/AU
  • 4Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, 2050 - Sydney/AU



Improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment have resulted in substantial growth in the costs of cancer care. Changes in a patient’s household income as a result of a cancer diagnosis or its treatment, in combination with the out-of-pocket costs of care, can place a significant financial burden on patients and their families.


The study is a prospective observational pilot study among adults treated with anti-cancer therapy in both adjuvant and palliative settings, in an outpatient department of a tertiary cancer hospital in Sydney, Australia. We have prospectively collected data from 14 patients currently receiving treatment for their cancer in the outpatient setting at one cancer centre thus far. Participants completed a questionnaire comprising four sections relating to socio-demographic characteristicss, employment/income history, health insurance status and cancer-related treatment. The data presented here has been collected as part of a larger pilot study investigating the out-of-pocket costs of cancer care for patients at three Australian cancer centres.


Preliminary results for 14 participants, The median age in our cohort was 57 years (range: 37 – 77). The most common cancer type was breast (n = 7), followed by prostate (n = 2), lung (n = 2), renal cell carcinoma (n = 1) and gastroesophageal (n = 1). 10 patients described a reduction in their household income after the diagnosis of cancer and 4 patients reported no change in their household income level. 12 patients were working part-time or full-time in paid work prior to the diagnosis of cancer, of which 10 described changes in their work conditions, most commonly decreased work hours (6), ceased working (3) and retired (1).


We aim to continue recruitment of participants at a further two sites, which will allow for a more heterogeneous population from different socioeconomic backgrounds. These preliminary findings are informative and may be indicative towards the changes in household income status as a result of a diagnosis of cancer and its treatment. Further results from the ongoing study will help to inform us regarding the magnitude and significance of these changes.

Clinical trial indentification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee


Study conducted within cancer centre with no funding


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.