A population-based comparison of the survival of patients with colorectal cancer in England, Norway and Sweden between 1996 and 2004
ABSTRACT To examine differences in the relative survival and excess death rates of patients with colorectal cancer in Norway, Sweden and England.
All individuals diagnosed with colorectal cancer (ICD10 (International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision) C18-C20) between 1996 and 2004 in England, Norway and Sweden were included in this population-based study of patients with colorectal cancer. The main outcome measures were 5-year cumulative relative period of survival and excess death rates stratified by age and period of follow-up.
The survival of English patients with colorectal cancer was significantly lower than was observed in both Norway and Sweden. Five-year age-standardised colon cancer relative survival was 51.1% (95% CI 50.1% to 52.0%) in England compared with 57.9% (95% CI 55.2% to 60.5%) in Norway and 59.9% (95% CI 57.7% to 62.0%) in Sweden. Five-year rectal cancer survival was 52.3% (95% CI 51.1% to 53.5%) in England compared with 60.7% (95% CI 57.0% to 64.2%) and 59.8% (95% CI 56.9% to 62.6%) in Norway and Sweden, respectively. The lower survival for colon cancer in England was primarily due to a high number of excess deaths among older patients in the first 3 months after diagnosis. In patients with rectal cancer, excess deaths remained elevated until 2 years of follow-up. If the lower excess death rate in Norway applied in the English population, then 890 (13.6%) and 654 (16.8%) of the excess deaths in the colon and rectal cancer populations, respectively, could have been prevented at 5 years follow-up. Most of these avoidable deaths occurred shortly after diagnosis.
There was significant variation in survival between the countries, with the English population experiencing a poorer outcome, primarily due to a relatively higher number of excess deaths in older patients in the short term after diagnosis. It seems likely, therefore, that in England a greater proportion of the population present with more rapidly fatal disease (especially in the older age groups) than in Norway or Sweden.
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ABSTRACT: To investigate the demographics, diagnoses and outcomes for new adult cancer patients with an initial presentation via the A&E or acute oncology teams. Patients with initial emergency presentation of malignancy have been documented to have poorer treatment outcomes and shorter survival. Patient level data on this subject is relatively limited with regard to the demographics, diagnoses and the clinical factors that may underlie late presentations. A 15 month audit of the patients presenting with a new diagnosis of malignancy was performed in 2011-2012. Data on demographics, diagnosis and outcome were assembled and analysed. The clinical data on emergency presentations were compared to reference information on the incidence and median age at presentation for each malignancy within the standard population. During the study a total of 178 new cancer patients presented via the A and E service. The most frequent diagnoses were lung cancer with 21% of cases and CNS and colorectal cancer each with 9% of cases. There was a higher incidence of emergency new presentations of lung cancer, CNS tumours, ovarian, pancreatic and testicular cancer than in the standard population, whilst breast cancer, bladder cancer and prostate cancer patients were under-represented. The median age at diagnosis was 74 and for a number of malignancies including CNS tumours, breast cancer, colorectal cancer and head and neck cancer the emergency cases presented at significantly greater ages than in the standard population. Overall 27% of patients were unfit or unsuitable for a diagnostic biopsy, this group had only a 3 month median survival compared to 14 months for those suitable for biopsy and treatment. Despite a wide range of initiatives, the emergency and late diagnosis of patients with metastatic cancer remains a significant challenge with many patients too advanced and unwell at presentation for active treatment. These patients tend to be older and have malignancies that present with either non-specific symptoms or symptoms requiring acute assessment. Improving the pathways for these patients will be challenging and require additional planning on improving awareness and access for these potentially hard to reach patients. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Cancer Epidemiology 12/2014; 39(1). DOI:10.1016/j.canep.2014.11.001 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that cancer registries in England are too dependent on processing of information from death certificates, and consequently that cancer survival statistics reported for England are systematically biased and too low. We have linked routine cancer registration records for colorectal, lung, and breast cancer patients with information from the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) database for the period 2001-2007. Based on record linkage with the HES database, records missing in the cancer register were identified, and dates of diagnosis were revised. The effects of those revisions on the estimated survival time and proportion of patients surviving for 1 year or more were studied. Cases that were absent in the cancer register and present in the HES data with a relevant diagnosis code and a relevant surgery code were used to estimate (a) the completeness of the cancer register. Differences in survival times calculated from the two data sources were used to estimate (b) the possible extent of error in the recorded survival time in the cancer register. Finally, we combined (a) and (b) to estimate (c) the resulting differences in 1-year cumulative survival estimates. Completeness of case ascertainment in English cancer registries is high, around 98-99%. Using HES data added 1.9%, 0.4% and 2.0% to the number of colorectal, lung, and breast cancer registrations, respectively. Around 5-6% of rapidly fatal cancer registrations had survival time extended by more than a month, and almost 3% of rapidly fatal breast cancer records were extended by more than a year. The resulting impact on estimates of 1-year survival was small, amounting to 1.0, 0.8, and 0.4 percentage points for colorectal, lung, and breast cancer, respectively. English cancer registration data cannot be dismissed as unfit for the purpose of cancer survival analysis. However, investigators should retain a critical attitude to data quality and sources of error in international cancer survival studies.British Journal of Cancer 05/2011; 105(1):170-6. DOI:10.1038/bjc.2011.168 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to examine differences in cancer survival between socioeconomic groups in England, with particular attention to survival in the short term of follow-up. Individuals diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 1996 and 2004 in England were identified from cancer registry records. Five-year cumulative relative survival and excess death rates were computed. For colon cancer there was a very high excess death rate in the first month of follow-up, and the excess death rate was highest in the socioeconomically deprived groups. In subsequent periods, excess mortality rates were much lower and there was less socioeconomic variation. The pattern of variation in excess death rates was generally similar in rectal cancer but the socioeconomic difference in death rates persisted several years longer. If the excess death rates in the entire colorectal cancer patient population were the same as those observed in the most affluent socioeconomic quintile, the annual reduction would be 360 deaths in colon cancer and 336 deaths in rectal cancer patients. These deaths occurred almost entirely in the first month and the first year after diagnosis. Recent developments in the national cancer control agenda have included an increasing emphasis on outcome measures, with short-term cancer survival an operational measure of variation and progress in cancer control. In providing clues to the nature of the survival differences between socioeconomic groups, the results presented here give strong support for this strategy.European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 06/2011; 48(1):46-53. DOI:10.1016/j.ejca.2011.05.018 · 4.82 Impact Factor