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Cancer deaths are close to putting a $100 billion economic burden on the U.S.

Almost 500,000 Americans died of cancer in 2015 and a new study concludes the disease robbed them not only of their lives, but of $94.4 billion in lifetime earning potential.

The American Cancer Society study released Wednesday calculates the missed-out money implications and, in the process, emphasizes the importance of early screening and prevention.

“The economic burden of lost earnings from premature cancer deaths in the United States appears to be significant,” the study said, noting that almost half of all cancer deaths are linked to factors like smoking, weight, diet and physical inactivity. The study based its findings on cancer mortality statistics, life expectancy data and U.S.

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