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Health Disparity: Time Delay in the Treatment of Breast Cancer in Louisiana

JHHSA, Vol. 34 No. 3, (2011)

Previous studies have suggested that breast cancer patients with a delay of three months or more in initiating radiotherapy after breast conservative surgery, have increased recurrence and lower survival than those without treatment delay.
In this study, the inequalities in receiving radiation on time after surgery were identified in five areas—patient’s age at diagnosis, race, size of the facility where the patient received treatment, teaching status of the facilities and geographical location where the patient received treatment. All patients studied were female patients. Women younger than 50 years of age, of the black race, receiving treatment in a teaching hospital, and who were treated by surgeons in southeast and central Louisiana were more likely to experience delay in receiving radiotherapy after breast conservative surgery than their counterparts. Patient’s insurance status, marital status and SES did not have any influence on treatment delay. Also, the surgeon’s practice age at diagnosis, the surgeon’s medical school, facility ownership status and Commission on Cancer approval status did not show significant effect.

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