Disparities Seen in United Kingdom Cancer CareLast Updated: January 15, 2010. In the United Kingdom, social factors such as age, gender, and socioeconomic status continue to affect access to hospital care for common cancers, according to a study published online Jan. 14 in BMJ.
FRIDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In the United Kingdom, social factors such as age, gender, and socioeconomic status continue to affect access to hospital care for common cancers, according to a study published online Jan. 14 in BMJ.
Rosalind Raine, Ph.D., of the University College London, and colleagues analyzed data on 564,821 patients aged 50 years and older who were admitted to a hospital with a diagnosis of colorectal, breast or lung cancer between 1999 and 2006.
The researchers found that emergency admissions were more likely to be older adults, women, and people with lower socioeconomic status. They also found that men and people with lower socioeconomic status were less likely to receive preferred surgical treatments for the three cancers, and that older adults were less likely to receive breast conserving surgery and lung cancer resection but more likely to receive the preferred surgical procedure for colorectal cancer.
"These findings suggest that both social variations in timely presentation and in pathways to care need to be prospectively examined to clarify the extent to which targeted symptom awareness raising campaigns and improved access to and referral from primary care are required," the authors conclude. "In addition adherence to cancer standards varies widely between cancer networks. Audit of local surgical practice and monitoring of sociodemographic variations in procedure use are also recommended to raise standards and ensure best practice."
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