Breast cancer treatment and survival differences in women in remote and socioeconomically disadvantaged areas, as demonstrated by linked data from New South Wales (NSW), Australia

Elizabeth Buckley, Elisabeth Elder, Sarah McGill, Zahra Shahabi Kargar, Ming Li, David Roder, David Currow

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Abstract

Introduction: Reducing variations in cancer treatment and survival is a key aim of the NSW Cancer Plan. Variations in breast cancer treatment and survival in NSW by remoteness and socioeconomic status of residence were investigated to determine benchmarks. Reducing variations in cancer treatment and survival is a key aim of the NSW Cancer Plan. Variations in breast cancer treatment and survival in NSW by remoteness and socioeconomic status of residence were investigated to determine benchmarks. Methods: A retrospective cohort study used linked data for invasive breast cancers, diagnosed in May 2002 to December 2015 from the NSW Cancer Registry, with corresponding inpatient, and medical and pharmaceutical insurance data. Associations between treatment modalities, area socioeconomic status and residential remoteness were explored using logistic regression. Predictors of breast cancer survival were investigated using Kaplan–Meier product-limit estimates and multivariate competing risk regression. Results: Results indicated a high 5-year disease-specific survival in NSW of 90%. Crude survival was equivalent by residential remoteness and marginally lower in lower socioeconomic areas. Competing risk regression showed equivalent outcomes by area socioeconomic status, except for the least disadvantaged quintile, which showed a higher survival. Higher sub-hazard ratios for death occurred for women with breast cancer aged 70 + years, and more advanced stage. Adjusted analyses indicated more advanced stage in lower socioeconomic areas, with less breast reconstruction and radiotherapy, and marginally less hormone therapy for women from these areas. Conversely, among these women who had breast conserving surgery, there was higher use of chemotherapy. Remoteness of residence was associated in adjusted analyses with less radiotherapy and less immediate breast reconstruction. In these short term data, remoteness of residence was not associated with lower survival. Conclusion: This study provides benchmarks for monitoring future variations in treatment and survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-560
Number of pages14
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Volume188
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Breast cancer survival
  • Breast cancer treatment
  • New South Wales
  • Residential remoteness
  • Socioeconomic status

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