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Risk-reducing surgeries are a feasible option for mitigating the risk in individuals with inherited susceptibility to cancer, but are the procedures cost-effective in the current health-care system in Germany? This study compared the health-care costs for bilateral risk-reducing mastectomy (BRRM) and risk-reducing (bilateral) salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) with cancer treatment costs that could potentially be prevented. The analysis is based on interdisciplinary consultations with individuals with a high familial risk for breast and ovarian cancer at the University Breast Center for Franconia (Germany) between 2009 and 2013 (370 consultations; 44 patients with BRCA1 mutations and 26 with BRCA2 mutations). Health-care costs for risk-reducing surgeries in BRCA mutation carriers were calculated as reimbursements in the German diagnosis-related groups (DRG) hospital pricing system. These costs for the health-care system were compared with the potential cancer treatment costs that could possibly be prevented by risk-reducing surgeries. Long-term health-care costs can be reduced by risk-reducing surgeries after genetic testing in BRCA mutation carriers. The health-care system in Germany would have saved € 136,295 if BRRM had been performed and € 791,653 if RRSO had been performed before the development of cancer in only 50% of the 70 mutation carriers seen in our center. Moreover, in patients with combined RRSO and BRRM (without breast reconstruction), one further life-year for a 40-year-old BRCA mutation carrier would cost € 2,183. Intensive care, including risk-reducing surgeries in BRCA mutation carriers, is cost-effective from the point of view of the health-care system in Germany. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Michael G Schrauder, Lisa Brunel-Geuder, Lothar Häberle, Marius Wunderle, Juliane Hoyer, André Reis, Rüdiger Schulz-Wendtland, Matthias W Beckmann, Michael P Lux. Cost-effectiveness of risk-reducing surgeries in preventing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland). 2017 Apr;32:186-191

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PMID: 28214786

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