Factors driving inequality in prostate cancer survival: a population based study.
Burns RM., Sharp L., Sullivan FJ., Deady SE., Drummond FJ., O Neill C.
PURPOSE: As cancer control strategies have become more successful, issues around survival have become increasingly important to researchers and policy makers. The aim of this study was to examine the role of a range of clinical and socio-demographic variables in explaining variations in survival after a prostate cancer diagnosis, paying particular attention to the role of healthcare provider(s) i.e. private versus public status. METHODS: Data were extracted from the National Cancer Registry Ireland, for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer from 1998-2009 (N = 26,183). A series of multivariate Cox and logistic regression models were used to examine the role of healthcare provider and socio-economic status (area-based deprivation) on survival, controlling for age, stage, Gleason grade, marital status and region of residence. Survival was based on all-cause mortality. RESULTS: Older individuals who were treated in a private care setting were more likely to have survived than those who had not, when other factors were controlled for. Differences were evident with respect to marital status, region of residence, clinical stage and Gleason grade. The effect of socio-economic status was modified by healthcare provider, such that risk of death was higher in those men of lower socio-economic status treated by public, but not private providers in the Cox models. The logistic models revealed a socio-economic gradient in risk of death overall; the gradient was larger for those treated by public providers compared to those treated by private providers when controlling for a range of other confounding factors. CONCLUSION: The role of healthcare provider and socio-economic status in survival of men with prostate cancer may give rise to concerns that warrant further investigation.