Distance from radiation therapy facility impacts breast cancer treatment
The farther away a woman lives from a radiation therapy facility, the less likely she is to get lumpectomy with adjuvant radiation therapy for early stage breast cancer, and may instead get mastectomy, according to a new study. Published in the January 1, 2006 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study reveals that being older, of Hispanic origin, or unmarried at diagnosis were also associated with decreased likelihood of treatment with lumpectomy and radiation therapy, and that both geographic accessibility and affordability of insurance influenced womens cancer treatment.
Mastectomy – a one-time surgery to remove all breast tissue along with the tumor – was once the only treatment option for women with early stage breast cancer. Breast-conserving surgery with radiation (BCSR) has been shown to be just as effective as mastectomy in terms of long time survival, but requires multiple follow-up visits for the radiation therapy. Despite professional recommendations that--unless there are contraindications--BCSR is the standard of care for localized breast cancer, studies show that women, particularly the elderly, ethnic minorities, and the uninsured, are less likely to receive BCSR. The conclusion often made is that affordability affects the receipt of BCSR. Studies of other cancers also implicate travel distance as a factor in access to treatment.
To determine whether travel distance from home to a radiation facility is an independent factor predicting BCSR use, Lydia Voti, DSc of the University of Miami and her colleagues reviewed inpatient and outpatient data for 18,903 breast cancer cases in Florida treated with BCSR or mastectomy.
The researchers found that the distance a woman had to travel to get treatment at a radiation facility independently impacted BCSR usage. The odds of receiving BCSR fell significantly for every 5-mile increase in the distance to a radiation treatment facility. Consistent with other studies, researchers found that socioeconomic factors, such as lack of health insurance, race-ethnicity (particularly Hispanic origin) and being unmarried also negatively impacted on the use of BCSR.
"We found that the distance to radiation therapy facilities has an inverse relationship with BCSR use," the authors conclude. They also recommend, "Facilitating access to radiation therapy facilities and offering pre-treatment counseling could potentially increase the receipt of BCSR among Hispanic and black women, older women, and the uninsured."
Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...