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Beyond the dollar: influence of sociodemographic marginalization on surgical resection, adjuvant therapy, and survival in patients with pancreatic cancer

Kagedan DJ, Abraham L, Goyert N, Li Q, Paszat LF, Kiss A, Earle CC, Mittmann N, Coburn NG. Cancer. 122(20):3175-82. Epub 2016 Jul 8.


Background — The single-payer universal health care system in Ontario, Canada creates a setting with reduced socioeconomic barriers to treatment. Herein, the authors sought to elucidate the influence of sociodemographic marginalization on receipt of pancreatectomy, overall survival (OS), and receipt of adjuvant treatment among patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the population level using an observational cohort study design.

Methods — Patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Ontario between January 2005 and January 2010 were identified using the provincial cancer registry and linked to administrative databases. Census data obtained from each patient's postal code were used as a proxy for that patient's median income, residential instability, material deprivation, ethnic concentration, and dependency (percentage aged <15 years, aged >65 years, and unemployed). Surgical specimen pathology reports were abstracted for histopathology and margin status. Independent predictors of undergoing pancreatectomy, OS after surgical resection, and receipt of adjuvant treatment were identified by logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards analysis.

Results — Of the 6296 patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, 820 (13%) underwent resection of their tumor. Increasing levels of residential instability (odds ratio [OR], 0.86; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.80-0.94) and material deprivation (OR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.79-0.94) predicted a decreased likelihood of undergoing surgical resection. Patients living in rural areas (OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.51-0.91) and those living in urban areas with lower incomes (OR range, 0.49-0.77) were found to have a lower likelihood of undergoing surgical resection compared with patients in the urban areas with the highest income. After surgical resection, an association between sociodemographic marginalization with OS or receipt of adjuvant treatment was not identified.

Conclusions — Sociodemographic marginalization exerts its influence early in the pancreatic cancer care continuum, and appears to be associated more with which patients undergo surgical resection than the receipt of adjuvant treatment.

Keywords: Social determinants of health Surgery Access to health care Treatments in oncology

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