Are breast cancer navigation programs cost-effective? Evidence from the Chicago Cancer Navigation Project

Talar W. Markossian, Elizabeth A. Calhoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objectives: One of the aims of the Chicago Cancer Navigation Project (CCNP) is to reduce the interval of time between abnormal breast cancer screening and definitive diagnosis in patients who are navigated as compared to usual care. In this article, we investigate the extent to which total costs of breast cancer navigation can be offset by survival benefits and savings in lifetime breast cancer-attributable costs. Methods: Data sources for the cost-effectiveness analysis include data from published literature, secondary data from the NCI's Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program, and primary data from the CCNP. Results: If women enrolled in CCNP receive breast cancer diagnosis earlier by 6 months as compared to usual care, then navigation is borderline cost-effective for $95,625 per life-year saved. Results from sensitivity analyses suggest that the cost-effectiveness of navigation is sensitive to: the interval of time between screening and diagnosis, percent increase in number of women who receive cancer diagnosis and treatment, women's age, and the positive predictive value of a mammogram. Conclusions: In planning cost-effective navigation programs, special considerations should be made regarding the characteristics of the disease, program participants, and the initial screening test that determines program eligibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Breast cancer
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Health care disparities
  • Patient navigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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