This paper reports the most cost-effective policy options to support and improve breast cancer control in Costa Rica and Mexico. Total costs and effects of breast cancer interventions were estimated using the health care perspective and WHO-CHOICE methodology. Effects were measured in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) averted. Costs were assessed in 2009 United States Dollars (US$). To the extent available, analyses were based on locally obtained data. In Costa Rica, the current strategy of treating breast cancer in stages I to IV at a 80% coverage level seems to be the most cost-effective with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of US$4,739 per DALY averted. At a coverage level of 95%, biennial clinical breast examination (CBE) screening could improve Costa Rica's population health twofold, and can still be considered very cost-effective (ICER US$5,964/DALY). For Mexico, our results indicate that at 95% coverage a mass-media awareness raising program (MAR) could be the most cost-effective (ICER US$5,021/DALY). If more resources are available in Mexico, biennial mammography screening for women 50-70 yrs (ICER US$12,718/DALY), adding trastuzumab (ICER US $13,994/DALY) or screening women 40-70 yrs biennially plus trastuzumab (ICER US$17,115/DALY) are less cost-effective options. We recommend both Costa Rica and Mexico to engage in MAR, CBE or mammography screening programs, depending on their budget. The results of this study should be interpreted with caution however, as the evidence on the intervention effectiveness is uncertain. Also, these programs require several organizational, budgetary and human resources, and the accessibility of breast cancer diagnostic, referral, treatment and palliative care facilities should be improved simultaneously. A gradual implementation of early detection programs should give the respective Ministries of Health the time to negotiate the required budget, train the required human resources and understand possible socioeconomic barriers. © 2014 Niëns et al.
L.M., N., S.G., Z., C., G.-D., G.R., P., B.R., H. B., E.R., S., … Rutten, F. F. H. (2014). Cost-effectiveness of breast cancer control strategies in Central America: The cases of Costa Rica and Mexico. PLoS ONE, 9(4), e95836. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0095836