Radiotherapy waiting times for women with breast cancer: a population-based cohort study.


Jack, RH; Davies, EA; Robinson, D; Sainsbury, R; Moller, H; (2007) Radiotherapy waiting times for women with breast cancer: a population-based cohort study. BMC Cancer, 7 (1). p. 71. ISSN 1471-2407 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2407-7-71

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Abstract

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Waiting times for cancer patients are a national priority in the UK. Previous studies have shown variation between cancer networks in the time between diagnosis and start of radiotherapy for all cancer patients. Studies of the relationship between delay in receiving treatment and survival of breast cancer patients have been inconsistent. This study aimed to examine factors associated with waiting times for radiotherapy for breast cancer patients. METHODS: 35,354 women resident in South East England and diagnosed with breast cancer between 1992 and 2001 who received radiotherapy within six months of diagnosis were identified from the Thames Cancer Registry. Time to radiotherapy was measured from either the date of diagnosis or the start of the previous treatment, whichever was shorter. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression models were fitted to examine whether patients received radiotherapy within 60 days of their diagnosis or previous treatment. RESULTS: The adjusted proportions of patients receiving radiotherapy within 60 days varied significantly between different cancer networks (range: 43% to 81%), and decreased from 68% in 1992 to 33% in 2001. After adjustment there was no association between deprivation of area of residence, age or stage and radiotherapy wait. Median time waited to radiotherapy increased over the study period whether measured from the start of chemotherapy, hormone therapy, surgery or the date of diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: This study covered a period of time before the investment following the Cancer Plan of 2000. Results are consistent with other findings suggesting variation between cancer networks and increasing waits over time. Further studies should examine different methods of measuring waiting time, the causes and consequences of waits for radiotherapy and the effect of current initiatives and investments.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 17472746
Web of Science ID: 246525500001
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/10046

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