Cost-effectiveness analysis for cervical cancer screening in Japan was performed to estimate the cost per life-year saved by the screening; cost-effectiveness ratio (CER). The analysis was made using a simulation model to estimate long-term cost and effectiveness of the screening programs. CER of cervical cancer screening was estimated to be US$ 40,604 which was 2.4 times more expensive than that for gastric cancer screening but was about the same as that for colorectal cancer screening. It was within the range of cost-effectiveness of other cancer screening programs financed under the Health and Medical Services Law for the Aged in Japan. We performed sensitivity analysis on the following seven estimates, the screening charge, the sensitivity and the specificity of the screening test, the frequency of carcinoma in situ (CIS) among cases detected in the screening program, the initial cost and the terminal cost for patients with invasive cancer, and the incidence rate of cervical cancer. The sensitivity analysis demonstrated that the screening charge was the most influential factor on CER. CER was fairly stable under various assumptions on the accuracy of the screening test, the frequency of carcinoma in situ (CIS), the treatment cost for patient, and the incidence of cervical cancer. CER was less sensitive to the changes in incidence, even to as low as a 50% decrease of the current figure. Then if the incidence rate becomes 85% of the current figure in 2015, CER would be US$ 48.176 and it was suggested that the cervical cancer screening would remain reasonably cost-effective until the year 2015.
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