Retrospective analysis of cancer survival across South-Western Victoria in Australia.
OBJECTIVE: This paper aims to describe cancer survival and examine association between survival and socio-demographic characteristics across Barwon South-Western region (BSWR) in Victoria, Australia. DESIGN: This study is based on the retrospective cohort database of patients accessing oncology services across BSWR. SETTING: Six rural and three urban hospital settings across the BSWR. PARTICIPANTS: The participants were patients who were diagnosed with cancer in 2009. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Overall survival (OS) of participants was the main outcome measure. RESULTS: Total of 1778 eligible patients had four-year OS for all cancers combined of 59.7% (95% CI, 57.4-62.0). Improved OS was observed for patients in the upper socio-economic tertile (64.2%; 95% CI, 60.9-67.5) compared to the middle (59.3%; 95% CI, 55.5-63.1) and lowest tertiles (49.6%; 95% CI, 44.2-54.9) (P < 0.01). On multivariate analyses, higher socio-economic status remained a significant predictor of OS adjusting for gender, remoteness and age (HR [hazard ratio] 0.81; 95% CI 0.74-0.89; P < 0.01). Remoteness was significantly associated with improved OS after adjusting for age, gender and socio-economic status (HR 0.86; 95% CI, 0.77-0.97; P = 0.01). Older age ≥70 years compared to <70 years conferred inferior OS (HR 3.08; 95% CI, 2.64-3.59; P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Our study confirmed improved survival outcomes for patients of higher socio-economic status and younger age. Future research to explain the unexpected survival benefit in patients who lived in more remote areas should examine factors including the correlation between geographical residence and eventual treatment facility as well as compare the BSWR care model to other regions' approaches.
Wong, SF; Matheson, L; Morrissy, K; Pitson, G; Ashley, DM; Khasraw, M; Lorgelly, PK; Henry, MJ
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