Publication Abstract

Authors: Baldwin LM, Taplin SH, Friedman H, Moe R

Title: Access to multidisciplinary cancer care: is it linked to the use of breast-conserving surgery with radiation for early-stage breast carcinoma?

Journal: Cancer 100(4):701-9

Date: 2004 Feb 15

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Breast-conserving surgery (BCS) with radiation (BCSR) requires a multidisciplinary care approach between surgeons and radiation oncologists. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study examined the use of preoperative radiation oncology consultation and whether use of or distance to this care was associated with treatment choice among 1188 women age > or = 65 years who were diagnosed with local or regional breast carcinoma in Washington State in 1994 and 1995. Study outcomes included rates of BCSR; BCS alone; and mastectomy; and radiation therapy among women who underwent BCS. RESULTS: Only 29% of patients in the current study consulted with a radiation oncologist preoperatively, and less than half of the patients (46.6%) consulted with either a medical oncologist or a radiation oncologist. Among women who underwent either BCSR or mastectomy, the odds of undergoing BCSR among women who had a preoperative radiation oncology consultation were 6.7 times the odds of women who did not have the consultation (P < or = 0.001). Similarly, the odds of receiving radiation therapy among women who underwent BCS and had a preoperative radiation oncology consultation were 5 times the odds of women who did not have the consultation (P < 0.001). The 3.4% of women who lived > 50 miles from the radiation therapy center had the lowest BCSR rate (15.8%) and had the lowest radiation therapy rate among women who underwent BCS (54.5%), although these findings were not statistically significant in adjusted analyses. CONCLUSIONS: A preoperative visit with a radiation oncologist was associated strongly with BCSR use. More should be done to evaluate the role of multidisciplinary consultation in the decision to use BCSR.