[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives. We established the level of awareness of risk factors and early symptoms of head and neck cancer among American Indians in South Dakota and determined whether head and neck cancer screening detected clinical findings in this population. Methods. We used the European About Face survey. We added questions about human papillomavirus, a risk factor for head and neck cancer, and demographics. Surveys were administered at 2 public events in 2011. Participants could partake in a head and neck cancer screening at the time of survey administration. Results. Of the 205 American Indians who completed the survey, 114 participated in the screening. Mean head and neck cancer knowledge scores were 26 out of 44. Level of education was the only factor that predicted higher head and neck cancer knowledge (b = 0.90; P = .01). Nine (8%) people had positive head and neck cancer screening examination results. All abnormal clinical findings were in current or past smokers (P = .06). Conclusions. There are gaps in American Indian knowledge of head and neck cancer risk factors and symptoms. Community-based head and neck cancer screening in this population is feasible and may be a way to identify early abnormal clinical findings in smokers. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print October 16, 2014: e1-e6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302177).
American Journal of Public Health 10/2014; · 4.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sought to analyze trends in radiation therapy (RT) technology use and costs in the last 30 days of life for patients dying as a result of cancer.
We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) -Medicare and Texas Cancer Registry-Medicare databases to analyze claims data for 13,488 patients dying as a result of lung, breast, prostate, colorectal, melanoma, and pancreas cancers from 2000 to 2009. Logistic regression modeling was used to conduct adjusted analyses regarding influence of demographic, clinical, and health services variables on receipt of types of RT. Costs were calculated in 2009 US dollars.
The proportion of patients treated with two-dimensional RT decreased from 74.9% of those receiving RT in the last 30 days of life in 2000 to 32.7% in 2009 (P < .001). Those receiving three-dimensional RT increased from 27.2% in 2000 to 58.5% in 2009 (P < .001). The proportion of patients treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy in the last 30 days of life increased from 0% in 2000 to 6.2% in 2009 (P < .001), and those undergoing stereotactic radiosurgery increased from 0% in 2000 to 5.0% in 2009 (P < .001). The adjusted mean costs of per-patient RT services delivered in the last 30 days of life were higher in the years 2007 to 2009.
Among patients receiving RT in the last month of life, there was a shift away from the simplest technique toward more advanced RT technologies. Studies are needed to ascertain whether these technology shifts improve palliative outcomes and quality of life for patients dying as a result of cancer who receive RT services.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hospital case volume has been shown to be a predictor of patient mortality for treatment for various cancers. The influence of hospital case volume on malignant melanoma survival and treatment utilization is unknown.
We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare linked databases to identify patients aged 65 years or older diagnosed with metastatic melanoma between 2000 and 2009. We analyzed claims data to ascertain cancer treatment variation by hospital case volume. Overall survival was evaluated using propensity score methods.
Among 1438 patients, 612 (42.6%) were treated in low-volume hospitals (≤5 patients) after receiving their diagnosis, 479 (33.3%) were treated in intermediate-volume hospitals (6 to 10 patients), and 347 (24.1%) were treated in high-volume hospitals (>10 patients). In Cox proportional hazards models, treatment in a high-volume hospital after propensity score adjustment was associated with a significant improvement in survival when adjusting for other characteristics (intermediate volume: hazard ratio [HR]=0.70, P=0.0007; high volume: HR=0.63, P<0.0001). Patients treated in high-volume hospitals were less likely to receive chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation therapy after a metastatic melanoma diagnosis.
For patients diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, being treated in a high-volume hospital was associated with an improvement in survival and lower utilization of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy.
American journal of clinical oncology 04/2014; · 2.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sought to compare hospice utilization for American Indian and White Medicare beneficiaries dying of cancer.
We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare linked databases to analyze claims for 181,316 White and 690 American Indian patients dying of breast, cervix, colorectal, kidney, lung, pancreas, prostate cancer, or stomach cancer from 2003 to 2009.
A lower proportion of American Indians enrolled in hospice compared to White patients (54% vs 65%, respectively; P < .0001). While the proportion of White patients who used hospice services in the last 6 months of life increased from 61% in 2003 to 68% in 2009 (P < .0001), the proportion of American Indian patients using hospice care remained unchanged (P = .57) and remained below that of their White counterparts throughout the years of study.
Continued efforts should be made to improve access to culturally relevant hospice care for American Indian patients with terminal cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:: To examine the patterns of utilization of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, and hospice at the end-of-life care for patients diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. METHODS:: We identified 816 Medicare beneficiaries toward who were 65 years of age or older, with pathologically confirmed metastatic malignant melanoma between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2007. We evaluated trends and associations between sociodemographic and health service characteristics and the use of hospice care, chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy. RESULTS:: We found increasing use of surgery for patients with metastatic melanoma from 13% in 2000 to 30% in 2007 (P=0.03 for trend), and no significant fluctuation in the use of chemotherapy (P=0.43) or radiation therapy (P=0.46). Older patients were less likely to receive radiation therapy or chemotherapy. The use of hospice care increased from 61% in 2000 to 79% in 2007 (P=0.07 for trend). Enrollment in short-term (1 to 3 d) hospice care use increased, whereas long-term hospice care (≥4 d) remained stable. Patients living in the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) northeast and south regions were less likely to undergo surgery. Patients enrolled in long-term hospice care used significantly less chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy. CONCLUSIONS:: Surgery and hospice care use increased over the years of this study, whereas the use of chemotherapy and radiation therapy remained consistent for patients diagnosed with metastatic melanoma.
American journal of clinical oncology 05/2013; · 2.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To evaluate outcomes of conservative surgery and radiation therapy (RT) treatment in patients with dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. METHODS AND MATERIALS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 53 consecutive dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans patients treated with surgery and preoperative or postoperative radiation therapy between 1972 and 2010. Median tumor size was 4 cm (range, 1-25 cm). Seven patients (13%) were treated with preoperative RT (50-50.4 Gy) and 46 patients (87%) with postoperative RT (60-66 Gy). Of the 46 patients receiving postoperative radiation, 3 (7%) had gross disease, 14 (30%) positive margins, 26 (57%) negative margins, and 3 (7%) uncertain margin status. Radiation dose ranged from 50 to 66 Gy (median dose, 60 Gy). RESULTS: At a median follow-up time of 6.5 years (range, 0.5 months-23.5 years), 2 patients (4%) had disease recurrence, and 3 patients (6%) had died. Actuarial overall survival was 98% at both 5 and 10 years. Local control was 98% and 93% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. Disease-free survival was 98% and 93% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. The presence of fibrosarcomatous change was not associated with increased risk of local or distant relapse (P=.43). One of the patients with a local recurrence had gross residual disease at the time of RT and despite RT to 65 Gy developed both an in-field recurrence and a nodal and distant recurrence 3 months after RT. The other patient with local recurrence was found to have in-field recurrence 10 years after initial treatment. Thirteen percent of patients had an RT complication at 5 and 10 years, and 9% had a moderate or severe complication at 5 and 10 years. CONCLUSIONS: Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans is a radioresponsive disease with excellent local control after conservative surgery and radiation therapy. Adjuvant RT should be considered for patients with large or recurrent tumors or when attempts at wide surgical margins would result in significant morbidity.
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 04/2013; · 4.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Radiation-associated angiosarcoma (RAAS) is a devastating disease occasionally observed in breast cancer patients treated with radiation. Due to its rarity, our knowledge-of disease risk factors, epidemiology, treatment, and outcome-is extremely limited. Therefore, we sought to identify clinicopathologic factors associated with local and distant recurrence and disease-specific survival (DSS). METHODS: Radiation-associated angiosarcoma was defined as pathologically confirmed breast or chest wall angiosarcoma arising within a previously irradiated field. A comprehensive search of our institutional tumor registry (1/1/93 through 2/28/11) was used to identify patients (n = 95 females). Patient, original tumor, RAAS treatment, and outcome variables were retrospectively retrieved and assembled into a database. RESULTS: The median follow-up for all RAAS patients was 10.3 (range, 2.4-31.8) years. The latency period following radiation exposure ranged from 1.4 to 26 (median, 7) years. One-year and 5-year DSS rates were 93.5 and 62.6 %, respectively. Reduced risk of local recurrence was observed in patients who received chemotherapy (P = 0.0003). In multivariable analysis, size was found to be an independent predictor of adverse outcome (P = 0.015). CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates that RAAS exhibits high recurrence rates. It also highlights the need for well-designed, multicenter, clinical trials to inform the true utility of chemotherapy in this disease.
Annals of Surgical Oncology 12/2012; · 3.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE:Our goal was to evaluate use and associated costs of radiation therapy (RT) in the last month of life among those dying of cancer. METHODS:We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) -Medicare linked databases to analyze claims data for 202,299 patients dying as a result of lung, breast, prostate, colorectal, and pancreas cancers from 2000 to 2007. Logistic regression modeling was used to conduct adjusted analyses of potential impacts of demographic, health services, and treatment-related variables on receipt of RT and treatment with greater than 10 days of RT. Costs were calculated in 2009 dollars. RESULTS: Among the 15,287 patients (7.6%) who received RT in the last month of life, its use was associated with nonclinical factors such as race, gender, income, and hospice care. Of these patients, 2,721 (17.8%) received more than 10 days of treatment. Nonclinical factors that were associated with greater likelihood of receiving more than 10 days of RT in the last 30 days of life included: non-Hispanic white race, no receipt of hospice care, and treatment in a freestanding, versus a hospital-associated facility. Hospice care was associated with 32% decrease in total costs of care in the last month of life among those receiving RT. CONCLUSION:Although utilization of RT overall was low, almost one in five of patients who received RT in their final 30 days of life spent more than 10 of those days receiving treatment. More research is needed into physician decision making regarding use of RT for patients with end-stage cancer.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 11/2012; · 17.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Our goal was to investigate utilization trends for advanced radiation therapy (RT) technologies, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), in the last year of life among patients diagnosed with metastatic cancer. METHODS: We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare linked databases to analyze claims data in the last 12 months of life for 64,525 patients diagnosed with metastatic breast, colorectal, lung, pancreas, and prostate cancers from 2000 to 2007. Logistic regression modeling was conducted to analyze potential demographic, health services, and treatment-related variables' influences on receipt of advanced RT. RESULTS: Among the 19,161 (29.7%) patients who received radiation therapy, there was a significant decrease in the proportion of patients who received the simplest radiation technique (ie, 2D-radiation therapy) (P < .0001), and significant increases in the proportions of patients receiving more advanced radiation techniques (ie, IMRT, and SRS; P < .0001 for all curves); although the rates for use of IMRT and SRS in 2007 remained under 5%. On multivariate analyses, receipt of RT varied significantly by non-clinical characteristics such as race, marital status, neighborhood income, and SEER region. Patients who received hospice care in the last year of life were more likely to receive radiation therapy (OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.30-1.40) but less likely to be treated with IMRT (OR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.62-0.92). CONCLUSIONS: Although the proportion of patients receiving RT in the last year of life for metastatic cancer did not change for most of the past decade, we observed significant trends toward more advanced radiation techniques.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-dose radiotherapy can cause contracture of the anophthalmic socket, but the incidence of this complication in patients with enucleation for uveal melanoma has not been reported previously. The authors reviewed the surgical management and outcomes in terms of successful prosthesis wear in patients with severe contracture of the anophthalmic socket treated with high-dose radiotherapy for high-risk uveal melanoma, and they estimated the relative risk of this complication.
The medical records of all consecutive patients enrolled in a prospective uveal-melanoma tissue-banking protocol at the authors' institution who underwent enucleation between January 2003 and December 2010 were reviewed. Patients who underwent adjuvant radiotherapy of the enucleated socket were further studied.
Of the 68 patients enrolled in the prospective tissue-banking protocol, 12 had high-risk histologic features (e.g., extrascleral spread or vortex vein invasion) and were treated with 60 Gy of external beam radiotherapy after enucleation. Five of these patients (41.7%) experienced severe socket contracture precluding prosthesis wear. The median time to onset of contracture following completion of radiotherapy was 20 months. Three patients underwent surgery, which entailed scar tissue release, oral mucous membrane grafting, and socket reconstruction; 2 patients declined surgery. All 3 patients who had surgery experienced significant improvement of socket contracture that enabled patients to wear a prosthesis again.
High-dose radiotherapy after enucleation in patients with uveal melanoma caused severe socket contracture and inability to wear a prosthesis in approximately 40% of patients. Surgical repair of the contracted socket using oral mucous membrane grafting can allow resumption of prosthesis wear.
Ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery 05/2012; 28(3):208-12. · 0.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Racial and ethnic minorities as well as other vulnerable populations experience disparate cancer-related health outcomes. Patient navigation is an emerging health care delivery innovation that offers promise in improving quality of cancer care delivery to these patients who experience unique health-access barriers. Metrics are needed to evaluate whether patient navigation can improve quality of care delivery, health outcomes, and overall value in health care during diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Information regarding the current state of the science examining patient navigation interventions was gathered via search of the published scientific literature. A focus group of providers, patient navigators, and health-policy experts was convened as part of the Patient Navigation Leadership Summit sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Key metrics were identified for assessing the efficacy of patient navigation in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Patient navigation data exist for all stages of cancer care; however, the literature is more robust for its implementation during prevention, screening, and early diagnostic workup of cancer. Relatively fewer data are reported for outcomes and efficacy of patient navigation during cancer treatment. Metrics are proposed for a policy-relevant research agenda to evaluate the efficacy of patient navigation in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Patient navigation is understudied with respect to its use in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Core metrics are defined to evaluate its efficacy in improving outcomes and mitigating health-access barriers.
Cancer 08/2011; 117(15 Suppl):3565-74. · 5.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Soft tissue sarcomas (STSs) arising from the popliteal fossa present a challenge with regard to local control of primary tumors. Due to concerns of functional morbidity and neurovascular compromise, there is debate about what represents the best therapy for these patients.
We conducted a retrospective medical record review of patients treated at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center for STS of the popliteal fossa from 1990 to 2008.
There were 47 eligible patients, 28 of whom were male and 19 of whom were female. Synovial sarcoma was the most common diagnosis, with 12 cases. Most patients had T2b tumors (31 patients; 66%). The median duration of follow-up was 3.8 years (range, 0.6-17.9 years). The 5- and 10-year overall survival rates were 63% and 51%, respectively. Metastasis at diagnosis was associated with poorer overall survival (5-year overall survival, 74% versus 13%; P<.001) and poorer recurrence-free survival (5-year recurrence-free survival, 51% versus 0%; P<.001) on univariate analysis. Radiation therapy improved local recurrence-free survival (5-year local recurrence-free survival, 56% versus 17%; P = .004), whereas a trend was observed for surgical margin status (P = .07). Tumor size and neurovascular involvement did not influence outcome. Twenty-two patients had recurrent disease, with 15 patients having local recurrence, and 16 patients died from progressive disease.
Radiation therapy may play an important role in the treatment of popliteal fossa STS, but further study is needed to better define the best clinical application. Additional study is needed to re-evaluate association of surgical margin status and outcome.
Cancer 06/2011; 117(12):2728-34. · 5.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A study was undertaken to assess patient navigation utilization and its impact on treatment interruptions and clinical trial enrollment among American Indian cancer patients.
Between February 2004 and September 2009, 332 American Indian cancer patients received patient navigation services throughout cancer treatment. The patient navigation program provided culturally competent navigators to assist patients with navigating cancer therapy, obtaining medications, insurance issues, communicating with medical providers, and travel and lodging logistics. Data on utilization and trial enrollment were prospectively collected. Data for a historical control group of 70 American Indian patients who did not receive patient navigation services were used to compare treatment interruptions among those undergoing patient navigation during curative radiation therapy (subgroup of 123 patients).
The median number of contacts with a navigator was 12 (range, 1-119). The median time spent with the navigator at first contact was 40 minutes (range, 10-250 minutes), and it was 15 minutes for subsequent contacts. Patients treated with radiation therapy with curative intent who underwent patient navigation had fewer days of treatment interruption (mean, 1.7 days; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-2.2 days) than historical controls who did not receive patient navigation services (mean, 4.9 days; 95% CI, 2.9-6.9 days). Of the 332 patients, 72 (22%; 95% CI, 17%-26%) were enrolled on a clinical treatment trial or cancer control protocol.
Patient navigation was associated with fewer treatment interruptions and relatively high rates of clinical trial enrollment among American Indian cancer patients compared with national reports.
Cancer 06/2011; 117(12):2754-61. · 5.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess preoperative biopsy utilization for patients with soft tissue sarcoma (STS) of ≥5 cm in size and whether or not preoperative biopsy was associated with fewer surgical procedures to adequately treat these tumors.
We identified 899 patients from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database with a diagnosis of STS and who underwent surgical resection of their tumors between 1992 and 2006. We used diagnosis and procedure codes from claims data to identify which patients had a biopsy performed and the corresponding number of surgical procedures for each patient. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were carried out to assess the influence of patient, tumor, and sociodemographic characteristics on performance of biopsy and the likelihood of multiple STS operations.
Only 40.6% of patients with tumors of ≥5 cm in size underwent biopsy as part of initial management of their STS. In multivariate analysis, biopsy utilization varied significantly by sex, tumor size, grade, and geographic region. After adjusting for patient, tumor, and sociodemographic characteristics, receipt of a biopsy was the only factor significantly associated with reduced likelihood of multiple STS operations (odds ratio=0.34, 95% confidence interval, 0.24-0.49).
Preoperative biopsy utilization among Medicare beneficiaries undergoing surgery for STS of ≥5 cm in size is low. Performance of a biopsy for patients with soft tissue tumors of ≥5 cm in size is associated with a decreased likelihood of a patient undergoing multiple surgeries for treatment of STS.
American journal of clinical oncology 04/2011; 35(5):455-61. · 2.21 Impact Factor