A study reported in the recent edition of the Australian Health Review has found that people receiving treatment for breast cancer in major cities tend to have a better chance of surviving the disease than those treated in 'inner regional areas'.
Lead author Professor David Roder, senior population health advisor of Cancer Australia, says that: "International evidence indicates that treatment outcomes vary depending on people’s private health insurance status, their treatment locations and numbers of other breast cancer patients being treated by their surgeon."
The study aimed to find out whether breast cancer survival varied with these factors in Australia.
Data from the Australian National Breast Cancer Audit was used to compare case fatality by surgeon case load, treatment centre location and health insurance status.
"Our analysis found that compared with major city centres, people with breast cancer treated at inner regional centres had a slightly higher relative risk of death from their breast cancer, but the risk was not elevated for more remote sites. The reasons for this difference are not clear and require further study," Professor Roder said.
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