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Influence of Distance from Home to Hospital on Survival among Lung Cancer Patients

  • Tanaka, Rina (Department of Medical Informatics, Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine) ;
  • Matsuzaka, Masashi (Department of Medical Informatics, Hirosaki University Hospital) ;
  • Nakaji, Shigeyuki (Department of Social Medicine, Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine) ;
  • Sasaki, Yoshihiro (Department of Medical Informatics, Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine)
  • Published : 2016.11.01

Abstract

The objective of this study was to clarify how distance from place of residence to the nearest specialist cancer hospital affects the survival of lung cancer patients and the treatment received. For all patients diagnosed with lung cancer in the Aomori cancer registry database for the period from 2009 to 2011 (n=3,986). The distance to the treating hospital was measured as the straight line from a person's place of residence, and compared with findings from the Ederer II method for calculating relative survival. Information on treatments given was obtained by data extraction. We defined a hospital having respiratory medicine as specialist, while all private hospitals and clinics were included in the general category. Patients attending specialist hospitals numbered 2,548 (67.0%), and those treated at general institutions were 1,255 (33.0%). The patients who had the lowest relative survival with localized lesions lived <20 km from general hospitals and clinics. With more advanced stages, relative survival of those living <20 km from a specialist hospital was the lowest. Although the survival rate was not affected by the distance between place of residence and hospital, even when patients are diagnosed at a localized stage at a general hospital or clinic within 20 km from their home, they did survive longer in comparison with patients diagnosed at a specialist hospital.

Keywords

Lung cancer;distance;relative survival;stage at diagnosis;treatment

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