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Title: Underutilization of radiotherapy for lung cancer in New South Wales, Australia
Authors: Vinod SK; Simonella L; Goldsbury DE; Delaney GP; Armstrong B; O'Connell DL
Categories: Treatment - Localised Therapies – Clinical Applications
Cancer Type - Lung Cancer
Keywords: Australia; radiotherapy; Registries; Research; survival; utilization; Wales; cancer; cancer registry; diagnosis; Lung; methods; New South Wales; Quality of Life; Questionnaires
Year: 2009
Journal Title: Cancer
Volume: 116
Issue: 3
Page number start: 686
Page number end: 694
Abstract: BACKGROUND:: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in most developed countries. Radiotherapy is important in its treatment, with an estimated optimal utilization rate between 45% and 68% at initial diagnosis. The objective of this study was to describe radiotherapy practice for lung cancer in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. METHODS:: Patients with lung cancer were identified prospectively from the NSW Central Cancer Registry (CCR) from November 1, 2001 to December 31, 2002. Questionnaires were mailed to diagnosing and treating clinicians to obtain detailed information on diagnosis, staging, referrals, and treatment. The authors describe referral for and receipt of radiotherapy treatment. RESULTS:: Of 1812 patients with lung cancer patients who were identified, 943 patients (52%) were referred for radiotherapy, 846 patients (47%) received a radiotherapy questionnaire, and 727 patients (40%) received radiotherapy. Compared with optimal radiotherapy, there was less curative radiotherapy to the primary site (20% actual vs 50% optimal), and there was more palliative radiotherapy to metastatic sites (36% actual vs 11% optimal). The greatest shortfall in radiotherapy use was observed in patients who had limited stage small cell lung cancer (46% actual vs 94% optimal). The use of combined-modality treatment for stage III nonsmall cell lung cancer and for limited stage small cell lung cancer was uncommon. CONCLUSIONS:: There is underutilization of radiotherapy for lung cancer in NSW, especially in small cell lung cancer. The use of combined-modality treatment for potentially curable lung cancers is suboptimal. These issues have to be addressed to improve survival and quality of life for patients with lung cancer. Cancer 2010. (c) 2009 American Cancer Society
Programme: Health Services Research; Lung Cancer
Division: Cancer Research Division
Appears in Collections:Research Articles

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