Relation between socioeconomic variables and surgical, systemic and radiation treatment in a cohort of patients with breast cancer in an urban Canadian centre
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Background: Studies have shown an association between socioeconomic status and breast cancer treatment. We examined the relation between socioeconomic status and the treatment of breast cancer (surgical, systemic and radiation) in a universal health care system. Methods: Data from a single urban Canadian centre were collected for consecutive patients who received a diagnosis of breast cancer from January 2010 to December 2011. Variables included patient and disease factors, surgery type, systemic and radiation treatment, and breast reconstruction. Socioeconomic variables were obtained from 2006 Canadian census data. We used multivariable logistic regression to identify predictors of breast cancer treatment. Results: A total of 721 patients were treated for breast cancer during the study period. Socioeconomic variables were not related to type of breast surgery for breast cancer. Age less than 50 years, having a first-degree relative with breast cancer and income status were predictors of breast reconstruction. Employment status was a consistent predictor of systemic and radiation treatment. Conclusion: Employment consistently predicted systemic and radiation treatment, and age and income were predictors of breast reconstruction in a universal health care system. Further research is required to determine precisely how socioeconomic
factors affect care and to minimize possible disparities in delivery of health care services.
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