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Educational Levels and Delays in Start of Treatment for Head and Neck Cancers in North-East India

  • Krishnatreya, Manigreeva (Cancer Registry, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dr.B Borooah Cancer Institute) ;
  • Kataki, Amal Chandra (Pathology, Dr.B Borooah Cancer Institute) ;
  • Sharma, Jagannath Dev (Head and Neck Oncology, Dr.B Borooah Cancer Institute) ;
  • Nandy, Pintu (Cancer Registry, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dr.B Borooah Cancer Institute) ;
  • Rahman, Tashnin (Head and Neck Oncology, Dr.B Borooah Cancer Institute) ;
  • Kumar, Mahesh (Head and Neck Oncology, Dr.B Borooah Cancer Institute) ;
  • Gogoi, Gayatri (Cancer Registry, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dr.B Borooah Cancer Institute) ;
  • Hoque, Nazmul (Cancer Registry, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dr.B Borooah Cancer Institute)
  • Published : 2015.01.22

Abstract

Background: There are various patient and professional factors responsible for the delay in start of treatment (SOT) for head and neck cancers (HNC). Materials and Methods: This retrospective study was conducted on data for HNC patients registered at the hospital cancer registry in North-East India. All cases diagnosed during the period of January 2010 to December 2012 were considered for the present analysis. Educational levels of all patients were clustered into 3 groups; illiterates (unable to read or write), qualified (school or high school level education), and highly qualified (college and above). Results: In the present analysis 1066 (34.6%) patients were illiterates, 1,869 (60.6%) patients were literates and 145 (4.7%) of all patients with HNC were highly qualified. The stage at diagnosis were stage I, seen in 62 (34.6%), stage II in 393 (12.8%), stage III in 1,371 (44.5%) and stage IV in 1,254 (40.7%). The median time (MT) to the SOT from date of attending cancer hospital (DOACH) was, in illiterate group MT was 18 days, whereas in the qualified group of patients it was 15 days and in the highly qualified group was 10 days. Analysis of variance showed there was a significant difference on the mean time for the delay in SOT from DOACH for different educational levels (F=9.923, p=0.000). Conclusions: Educational level is a patient related factor in the delays for the SOT in HNCs in our population.

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