Disparities in radiation therapy utilization for cancer patients in Victoria

Wee Loon Ong*, Norah Finn, Luc Te Marvelde, Colin Hornby, Roger L. Milne, Gerard G. Hanna, Graham Pitson, Hany Elsaleh, Jeremy L. Millar, Farshad Foroudi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction

To evaluate the proportion of cancer patients who received radiation therapy (RT) within 12 months of cancer diagnosis (RTU12) and identify factors associated with RTU12.

Methods

This is a population-based cohort of individuals with incident cancer, diagnosed between 2013 and 2017 in Victoria. Data linkages were performed between the Victorian Cancer Registry and Victorian Radiotherapy Minimum Dataset. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients who had RTU12. For the three most common cancers (i.e., prostate, breast and lung cancer), the time trend in RTU12 and factors associated with RTU12 were evaluated.

Results

The overall RTU12 in our study cohort was 26–20% radical RT and 6% palliative RT. Of the 21,735 men with prostate cancer, RTU12 was 17%, with no significant change over time (P-trend = 0.53). In multivariate analyses, increasing age and lower socioeconomic status were independently associated with higher RTU12 for prostate cancer. Of the 20,883 women with breast cancer, RTU12 was 64%, which increased from 62% in 2013 to 65% in 2017 (P-trend < 0.05). In multivariate analyses, age, socioeconomic status and area of residency were independently associated with RTU12 for breast cancer. Of the 13,093 patients with lung cancer, RTU12 was 42%, with no significant change over time (P-trend = 0.16). In multivariate analyses, younger age, male and lower socioeconomic status were independently associated with higher RTU12.

Conclusion

In this large population-based state-wide cohort of cancer patients, only 1 in 4 had RT within 12 months of diagnosis. There were marked sociodemographic disparities in RTU12 for prostate, breast and lung cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Early online date31 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 31 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

Keywords

  • health services
  • Radiation oncology
  • Radiotherapy utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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