Use and timeliness of radiation therapy after breast-conserving surgery in low-income women with early-stage breast cancer.

Department of Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health. Stephanie
Cancer Investigation (Impact Factor: 2.24). 04/2012; 30(4):258-67. DOI: 10.3109/07357907.2012.658937
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To characterize overall receipt and timeliness of radiation therapy (RT) following breast-conserving surgery among Medicaid-insured patients.
State cancer registry data linked with Medicaid claims from 2003 to 2009 were analyzed. Multivariate logistic and Cox proportional hazards regressions were employed.
Overall, 81% of patients received guideline-recommended RT. Significant variation in timing of RT initiation was documented. Having fewer comorbitidies and receiving chemotherapy were correlated with higher odds of RT initiation within 1 year.
Although RT use in Medicaid-insured women appears to have improved since earlier studies, documented delays in RT are troublesome and warrant further investigation.

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