State-run website Tabnak quotes Mohammad Esmail Akbari, head of the Cancer Research Center, on February 11 saying: “Cancer is the worst and at the same time the most expensive disease. Every year $6 billion is the direct cost of the treatment of cancer and the indirect expenses are much more than this figure and that the most part of this expense, or 80%, is paid by the patients themselves. Because of this and due to the death of at least 41,000 cancer patients every year, the number of the families who slip under the poverty line because of the cancer related expenses or at least have to face exorbitant expenses of treatment is at least twice the other diseases.”

A United Nations study on those successfully treated for cancer shows that surgery is 49% effective, radiotherapy 40%, and chemotherapy 11% in the treatment of these patients. These treatments cost patients more than they are able to pay.