Assessing the costs of screening for ovarian cancer in the United States: An evolving analysis

Justin W. Gorski, McKell Quattrone, John R. van Nagell, Edward J. Pavlik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The primary objective of this study is to provide an updated analysis of the cost of screening for ovarian cancer in the United States. Here, we use updated information from the University of Kentucky Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial in conjunction with new modifying factors such as U.S. national estimates of the cost of care (Truven Health MarketScan Database), recently published estimates of earnings lost due to ovarian cancer death and estimates of federal income taxes paid on those earnings. In total, 326,998 screens were performed during the Kentucky trial from 1987 to 2019. At a cost of $56 per screen, we estimate that the total base cost to operate the program over the last 32 years is $18,311,888. When accounting for the surgical cost of 381 false-positive cases, the total cost of the screening program increases by $3,030,474. However, these costs are offset by the benefit of treating more early-stage ovarian cancer in the screened population, with a total cost advantage of $4,016,475 at our institution (Kentucky) or $1,525,050 ($725,700–$3,312,650) (U.S.) nationally. Additionally, program costs are offset by approximately $3,549,000 due to the potential earnings gained by the 26 women whose lives have been saved with screening. Furthermore, the cost of the program is offset by the federal tax dollars paid on the recovered earnings and amounts to $383,292. Ultimately, the net adjusted total cost of the Kentucky screening program is an estimated $13,393,595 at our institution or $15,885,020 ($13,978,068–$16,799,083) nationally. Thus, the adjusted cost per screen is an estimated $40.96 in Kentucky or $48.58 ($42.75–$51.37) nationally.

Original languageEnglish
Article number67
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the National Cancer Institute, grant number T32 CA160003.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.


  • Cost analysis
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Screening
  • Transvaginal ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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