Socioeconomic status impacts mesothelioma patient outcomes

6 Feb 2017 by under Research/Treatment

Australia location map with floral 100x100 Socioeconomic status impacts mesothelioma patient outcomes Socioeconomic status has a bigger impact on patient prognosis than any other factor, according to a new study.

Despite each of the 910 Australian patients with pleural mesothelioma who participated receiving some level of compensation for their diseases, the study found those with lower statuses on the Index of Relative Socioeconomic Advantage and Disadvantage (IRSAD) were less likely to receive adequate treatment, according to Surviving Mesothelioma.

Where a patient fell on the IRSAD had more of an impact on treatment than if the patient lived in a large city close to high-quality cancer care. In fact, the study found no survival advantage to living in a larger city. Instead, socioeconomic status, a person’s economic and social position based on education, income and occupation, was found to be the best indicator of whether a patient received chemotherapy, which offers modest survival advantages to those diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a deadly cancer linked to exposure that affects the lining of the lungs. Fifty-five percent of wealthier patients versus 37 percent of patients low on the IRSAD received chemotherapy, the study found.

“Patient’s geographic location….did not impact chemotherapy, adjuvant radiotherapy or extrapleural pneumonectomy provision. Socioeconomically disadvantaged patients were significantly less likely to receive chemotherapy,” it states.

The median overall survival time for mesothelioma patients in the study was 10 months, and 67 percent lived in major cities, in closer proximity to what it calls “oncological multidisciplinary teams” (MDT), versus areas greater than 50 miles from an MDT.

The study does not identify specific reasons for the disparity, but calls for further investigation into the causes: “Further research is warranted to seek additional explanations for the differences noted by comparing the treatments and outcomes of compensated and non-compensated MPM patients in (New South Wales),” where the patients were listed on its cancer registry.

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