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Am J Clin Oncol. 2009 Jun;32(3):286-90. doi: 10.1097/COC.0b013e31818af0d8.

Outcome of esophageal carcinoma in the veteran affairs population: a comparative analysis from the Veteran Affairs Central Cancer Registry.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati VA Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA.



Reports indicate that esophageal carcinoma is changing with a shift from squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) to adenocarcinoma (AC) along with worse survival in black patients. However, data on esophageal carcinoma in the Veteran Affairs (VA) population is lacking. We set to describe site-specific and histology-specific characteristics of esophageal cancer in the VA population over the past decades.


We queried the VA Central Cancer Registry database for esophageal cancer cases between 1995 and 2005. Patient characteristics and treatment methods were obtained and overall survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method.


There were 7929 patients included in the study. The median survival in the period 1995 to 1999 was 7.53 months and 2000 to 2005 was 8.33 months. The median survival in AC was 8.93 months; SCC was 7.30 months. Cox-regression multivariate model revealed that location, age, histology, stage, and treatment were independent predictors of survival. Blacks were less likely to undergo surgery and more likely to undergo radiation.


In nonmetastatic esophageal cancer at the VA, SCC has worse outcome as compared with AC. Blacks with AC have worse outcome than whites. Despite equal access to health care blacks are less likely to undergo surgery, which may contribute to their worse outcome. We recommend further studies to determine factors leading to selection of treatment modalities in minority patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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