Monitoring TNM stage of female breast cancer and survival across the South Australian population, with national and international TNM benchmarking: A population-based cohort study

Ming Li, David Roder, Katina D'Onise, David Walters, Gelareh Farshid, Elizabeth Buckley, Chris Karapetis, Rohit Joshi, Timothy Price, Amanda Townsend, Caroline Louise Miller, David Currow, Kate Powell, Dianne Buranyi-Trevarton, Ian Olver

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    OBJECTIVE: Using linked cancer registry and administrative data to monitor, tumour, node and metastases (TNM) stage and survival from female breast cancer in Australia. METHOD: Analysis of 2000-2014 diagnoses with linked population-based data to investigate: (1) sociodemographic predictors of advanced stage (stages III and IV), using unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression; and (2) sociodemographic factors and stage as predictors of breast cancer survival using competing risk regression. DESIGN: Population-based registry cohort. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: 14 759 South Australian women diagnosed in 2000-2014. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Stage and survival. RESULTS: At diagnosis, 46% of women were classified as stage I, 39% as stage II, 12% as stage III and 4% as stage IV. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, advanced stage was more common: (1) for ages <50 years; and although not statistically significant, for ages 80+ years; and (2) in women from socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. Compared with 2000-2004 diagnoses, stage and sociodemographic adjusted risks (sub-HRs (SHRs)) of breast cancer death were lower in 2005-2009 (SHR 0.75, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.83) and 2010-2015 (SHR 0.57, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.67). Compared with stage I, the SHR was 3.87 (95% CI 3.32 to 4.53) for stage II, 10.87 (95% CI 9.22 to 12.81) for stage III, and 41.97 (95% CI 34.78 to 50.65) for stage IV. Women aged 70+ years at diagnosis and those living in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas were at elevated risk of breast cancer death, independent of stage and sociodemographic factors. CONCLUSIONS: Stage varied by age, diagnostic period and socioeconomic status, and was a stronger predictor of survival than other statistically significant sociodemographic predictors. Achieving earlier diagnosis outside the original BreastScreen target of 50-69 years (as applying <2014) and in residents of socioeconomically disadvantaged areas likely would increase cancer survival at a population level.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere037069
    Pages (from-to)e037069
    JournalBMJ Open
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:


    • breast tumours
    • epidemiology
    • public health


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