Catastrophic health expenditure among colorectal cancer patients and families: a case of Malaysia

Meram Azzani, Abqariyah Yahya, April Camilla Roslani, Tin Tin Su

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This study aimed to estimate the cost of colorectal cancer (CRC) management and to explore the prevalence and determinants of catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) among CRC patients and their families arising from the costs of CRC management. Data were collected prospectively from 138 CRC patients. Patients were interviewed by using a structured questionnaire at the time of the diagnosis, then at 6 months and 12 months following diagnosis. Simple descriptive methods and multivariate binary logistic regression were used in the analysis. The mean cost of managing CRC was RM8306.9 (US$2595.9), and 47.8% of patients' families experienced CHE. The main determinants of CHE were the economic status of the family and the likelihood of the patient undergoing surgery. The results of this study strongly suggest that stakeholders and policy makers should provide individuals with financial protection against the consequences of cancer, a costly illness that often requires prolonged treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-494
Number of pages10
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • cost of illness
  • financial protection
  • financial risk
  • health care payment
  • universal health coverage

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