Use of paediatric versus adult oncology treatment centres by adolescents 15–19 years old: the Canadian Childhood Cancer Surveillance and Control Program Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The aim of this study was to evaluate the treatment patterns of adolescents with cancer in Canada to ensure this population is receiving the most appropriate care. The Treatment and Outcome Surveillance (TOS) system was compared with the Canadian Cancer Registry (CCR) to estimate the proportion of adolescents (15-19 years) treated in Canadian paediatric oncology centres from 1995 to 2000 inclusive. Using TOS, the demographic, disease, and clinical characteristics of adolescents treated in paediatric versus adult centres in the Prairies were compared and differences were tested statistically. Approximately 30% of Canadian adolescents with cancer were treated in a paediatric centre. Adolescents treated in an adult centre were older at diagnosis and more likely to have carcinoma or germ cell tumours. The time between symptom onset and first treatment was longer for these adolescents, primarily due to the time between first health-care contact and assessment by a treating oncologist or surgeon. They were less likely to be enrolled in a clinical trial. These results suggest that care for adolescents with cancer in Canada is less satisfactory than for younger children, and can be improved.

publication date

  • February 2005