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Ann Epidemiol. 2012 Jan;22(1):28-36. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2011.10.001. Epub 2011 Oct 28.

Characteristics associated with the initiation of radiation therapy after breast-conserving surgery among African American and white women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in Maryland, 2000-2006.

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1
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Socioeconomic status appears to be an important independent barrier to breast cancer care, irrespective of insurance inequalities. Receiving radiation therapy (RT) reduces local recurrence and mortality in patients receiving breast-conserving surgery (BCS). We investigated racial and socioeconomic determinants of RT initiation after BCS in Maryland.

METHODS:

Maryland Cancer Registry breast cancer data for the diagnosis years 2000 through 2006 were analyzed for characteristics associated with receipt of RT after BCS. We used generalized regression models to estimate RT initiation among low-income patients, adjusting for racial, demographic, and clinical covariates.

RESULTS:

Low-income women were more likely to be African American; older; uninsured or to use Medicare, Medicaid, or Maryland breast cancer insurance; and have tumors that were estrogen receptor and progesterone-receptor negative. Among low-income women, those at risk of not initiating RT after BCS were more likely to be African American, be older than 80 years of age, and have tumors >2 cm.

CONCLUSIONS:

Socioeconomic disparities were identified in the initiation of RT after BCS in Maryland from 2000 to 2006. In addition, racial disparities in RT after BCS were apparent for women diagnosed from 2000 to 2003. Additional research is needed to investigate uptake of prescribed treatments after BCS and develop strategies for reducing barriers to obtaining treatments among patients at risk for incomplete cancer care.

PMID:
22037379
DOI:
10.1016/j.annepidem.2011.10.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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