Economic Evaluation of Breast Cancer Early Detection Strategies in Asia: A Systematic Review

Popy Yuniar, Suzanne Robinson, Rachael Moorin, Richard Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This article aims to support the development of practical guidelines for early detection of breast cancer in Asia by systematically reviewing economic evaluation studies of such early detection strategies in Asian countries. Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted following the Cochrane Handbook and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Protocols checklist. The quality of reviewed studies was examined using the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards statement. Results: A total of 15 articles on the economic evaluation of breast cancer early detection based in Asia were reviewed. Cost-effectiveness was used in all the studies as the analytic method to compare the cost and consequences of different screening policies. Ten studies were categorized as incorporating the modeled approach. Fourteen studies analysed the cost-effectiveness of the organized population-based approach, in which mammography screening was the prevailing screening modality. Only one study evaluated the cost-effectiveness of early diagnosis for breast cancer patients in order to provide early treatment. The results from the identified economic evaluations, and consequent recommendations concerning optimal early detection strategies varied among studies, and depended on key parameters and assumption used, as well as differences in inter-country health resources, breast cancer incidence, prevalence and early detection pathways. Conclusions: The economic evaluation of breast cancer early detection programs is still limited in Asia. Policy decisions on organized mammography screening in women <50 are economically attractive in the region, despite the lack of evidence to provide recommendations on opportunistic screening strategy and early diagnosis strategy. Future studies need to provide better transparency of the data used and cover more comprehensive strategies, to make them relevant and adaptable to other Asian countries, resulting in clear policy recommendations on breast cancer early detection strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-263
Number of pages12
JournalValue in Health Regional Issues
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Asia
  • breast cancer
  • early detection
  • economic evaluation


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