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1.  Social differences in lung cancer management and survival in South East England: a cohort study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e001048.
To examine possible social variations in lung cancer survival and assess if any such gradients can be attributed to social differences in comorbidity, stage at diagnosis or treatment.
Population-based cohort identified in the Thames Cancer Registry.
South East England.
15 582 lung cancer patients diagnosed between 2006 and 2008.
Main outcome measures
Stage at diagnosis, surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and survival.
The likelihood of being diagnosed as having early-stage disease did not vary by socioeconomic quintiles (p=0.58). In early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer, the likelihood of undergoing surgery was lowest in the most deprived group. There were no socioeconomic differences in the likelihood of receiving radiotherapy in stage III disease, while in advanced disease and in small-cell lung cancer, receipt of chemotherapy differed over socioeconomic quintiles (p<0.01). In early-stage disease and following adjustment for confounders, the HR between the most deprived and the most affluent group was 1.24 (95% CI 0.98 to 1.56). Corresponding estimates in stage III and advanced disease or small-cell lung cancer were 1.16 (95% CI 1.01 to 1.34) and 1.12 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.20), respectively. In early-stage disease, the crude HR between the most deprived and the most affluent group was approximately 1.4 and constant through follow-up, while in patients with advanced disease or small-cell lung cancer, no difference was detectable after 3 months.
We observed socioeconomic variations in management and survival in patients diagnosed as having lung cancer in South East England between 2006 and 2008, differences which could not fully be explained by social differences in stage at diagnosis, co-morbidity and treatment. The survival observed in the most affluent group should set the target for what is achievable for all lung cancer patients, managed in the same healthcare system.
Article summary
Article focus
Social differences in management and survival in lung cancer patients.
Particular focus on possible social variations in lung cancer survival and assess if any such gradients can be attributed to social differences in co-morbidity, stage at diagnosis or treatment.
Key messages
There were no detectable socioeconomic differences in stage at diagnosis among lung cancer patients in South East England between 2006 and 2008.
Socioeconomic differences in lung cancer management and survival existed. The observed inequalities in survival could not fully be explained by social differences in stage at diagnosis, co-morbidity and treatment factors.
In early-stage disease, social gradients in survival existed throughout follow-up, whereas in advanced disease, variations in survival were confined to the period immediately after diagnosis.
Strengths and limitations of this study
Strengths included the population-based cohort design. The material at hand allowed analyses that accounted for co-morbidity, stage at diagnosis and treatment factors.
Limitations included the absence of data on performance status, forced expiratory volume, smoking history and lifestyle factors.
PMCID: PMC3367157  PMID: 22637374
2.  Incidence and survival of oesophageal and gastric cancer in England between 1998 and 2007, a population-based study 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:11.
Major changes in the incidence of oesophageal and gastric cancers have been reported internationally. This study describes recent trends in incidence and survival of subgroups of oesophageal and gastric cancer in England between 1998 and 2007 and considers the implications for cancer services and policy.
Data on 133,804 English patients diagnosed with oesophageal and gastric cancer between 1998 and 2007 were extracted from the National Cancer Data Repository. Using information on anatomical site and tumour morphology, data were divided into six groups; upper and middle oesophagus, lower oesophagus, oesophagus with an unspecified anatomical site, cardia, non-cardia stomach, and stomach with an unspecified anatomical site. Age-standardised incidence rates (per 100,000 European standard population) were calculated for each group by year of diagnosis and by socioeconomic deprivation. Survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method.
The majority of oesophageal cancers were in the lower third of the oesophagus (58%). Stomach with an unspecified anatomical site was the largest gastric cancer group (53%). The incidence of lower oesophageal cancer increased between 1998 and 2002 and remained stable thereafter. The incidence of cancer of the cardia, non-cardia stomach, and stomach with an unspecified anatomical site declined over the 10 year period. Both lower oesophageal and cardia cancers had a much higher incidence in males compared with females (M:F 4:1). The incidence was also higher in the most deprived quintiles for all six cancer groups. Survival was poor in all sub-groups with 1 year survival ranging from 14.8-40.8% and 5 year survival ranging from 3.7-15.6%.
An increased focus on prevention and early diagnosis, especially in deprived areas and in males, is required to improve outcomes for these cancers. Improved recording of tumour site, stage and morphology and the evaluation of focused early diagnosis programmes are also needed. The poor long-term survival reinforces the need for early detection and multidisciplinary care.
PMCID: PMC3274437  PMID: 22239958
3.  Inequalities in the incidence of cervical cancer in South East England 2001–2005: an investigation of population risk factors 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:62.
The incidence of cervical cancer varies dramatically, both globally and within individual countries. The age-standardised incidence of cervical cancer was compared across primary care trusts (PCTs) in South East England, taking into account the prevalence of known behavioural risk factors, screening coverage and the deprivation of the area.
Data on 2,231 cases diagnosed between 2001 and 2005 were extracted from the Thames Cancer Registry, and data on risk factors and screening coverage were collated from publicly available sources. Age-standardised incidence rates were calculated for each PCT using cases of squamous cell carcinoma in the screening age group (25–64 years).
The age-standardised incidence rate for cervical cancer in South East England was 6.7 per 100,000 population (European standard) but varied 3.1 fold between individual PCTs. Correlations between the age-standardised incidence rate and smoking prevalence, teenage conception rates, and deprivation were highly significant at the PCT level (p < 0.001). However, screening coverage was not associated with the incidence of cervical cancer at the PCT level. Poisson regression indicated that these variables were all highly correlated and could not determine the level of independent contribution at a population level.
There is excess disease burden within South East England. Significant public health gains can be made by reducing exposure to known risk factors at a population level.
PMCID: PMC2650689  PMID: 19232085
4.  Ethnicity coding in a regional cancer registry and in Hospital Episode Statistics 
BMC Public Health  2006;6:281.
The collection of ethnicity information as part of cancer datasets is important for planning services and ensuring equal access, and for epidemiological studies. However, ethnicity has generally not been well recorded in cancer registries in the UK. The aim of this study was to determine the completeness of ethnicity coding in the Thames Cancer Registry (TCR) database and within the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data as held by the London Health Observatory, and to investigate factors associated with ethnicity being recorded.
Records for 111821 hospital admissions of London residents with a malignant cancer as a primary diagnosis between April 2002 and March 2003 and records for 25581 London residents diagnosed with cancer in 2002 were examined. Data on sex, age, cancer network of residence, deprivation, proportion of non-whites in the local authority population, and site of cancer were available. The proportion of patients in each group with a valid ethnicity code was calculated. In the TCR data proportions were also calculated adjusted for all other variables.
Ethnicity was recorded for 90661 (81.1%) of the hospital admissions in the HES data and 5796 (22.7%) patients on the TCR database. Patients resident in areas with a higher proportion of non-white residents and the most deprived populations were more likely to have an ethnic code on the TCR database, though this pattern was not seen in the HES data. Adjustment did not materially affect the association between deprivation and ethnicity being recorded in the TCR data.
There was a large difference in completeness of ethnicity between the data sources. In order to improve the level of recording in TCR data there needs to be better recording of ethnicity in sources TCR data collection staff have access to, or use of information from other sources e.g. electronic data feeds from hospitals or pathology laboratories, or HES data itself supplied directly to TCR. Efforts to collect ethnicity data should be encouraged in all healthcare settings. Future research should explore where the difficulties collecting ethnicity information lie, whether with patients, healthcare professionals or the recording procedure, and how such problems can be overcome.
PMCID: PMC1657017  PMID: 17096838

Results 1-4 (4)