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Socioeconomic status as a predictor of adherence to treatment guidelines for early-stage ovarian cancer


Objective Investigate the impact of socioeconomic status and other demographic variables on adherence to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network ovarian cancer treatment guidelines among patients with stage I/II disease. Methods Patients diagnosed with stage I/II epithelial ovarian cancer between 1/1/96-12/31/06 were identified from the California Cancer Registry. Univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression models were used to evaluate differences in surgical procedures, chemotherapy regimens, and overall adherence to the NCCN guidelines according to increasing SES quintiles (SES-1 to SES-5). Results A total of 5445 stage I and II patients were identified. The median age at diagnosis was 54.0 years (range = 18-99 years); 72.5% of patients had stage I disease, while 27.5% had stage II disease. With a median follow-up time of 5 years, the 5-year ovarian cancer-specific survival for all patients was 82.7% (SE = 0.6%). Overall, 23.7% of patients received care that was adherent to the NCCN guidelines. Compared to patients in the highest SES quintile (SES-5), patients in the lowest SES quintile (SES-1) were significantly less likely to receive proper surgery (27.3% vs 47.9%, p < 0.001) or chemotherapy (42.4% vs 53.6%, p < 0.001). There were statistically significant trends between increasing SES and the likelihood of overall treatment plan adherence to the NCCN guidelines: SES-1 = 16.4%, SES-2 = 19.0%, SES-3 = 22.4%, SES-4 = 24.2% and SES-5 = 31.6% (p < 0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that compared to SES-5, decreasing SES was independently predictive of a higher risk of non-standard overall care. Conclusions For patients with early-stage ovarian cancer, low SES is a significant and independent predictor of deviation from the NCCN guidelines for surgery, chemotherapy, and overall treatment.

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