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Geographic variations in breast cancer survival among older women: implications for quality of breast cancer care. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2002 Jun;57(6):M401-6 PMID: 12023271

Pubmed ID



BACKGROUND: Breast cancer care, such as utilization of screening procedures and types of treatment received, varies substantially by geographic region of the United States. However, little is known about variations in survival with breast cancer.

METHODS: We examined breast cancer incidence, survival, and mortality in the 66 health service areas covered by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program for women aged 65 and older at diagnosis. Incidence and survival data were derived from SEER, while breast cancer mortality data were from Vital Statistics data.

RESULTS: There was considerable variation in breast cancer survival among the 66 health service areas (chi2 = 202.7, p <.0001). There was also significant variation in incidence and mortality from breast cancer. In a partial correlation weighted for the size of the health service area, both incidence (r =.812) and percent 5-year survival (r = -.587) correlate with mortality. In a Poisson regression analysis, the combination of variation in incidence and variation in survival explains 90.9% of the variation in mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: There is considerable geographic variation in survival from breast cancer among older women, and this contributes to variation in breast cancer mortality. Geographic variations in breast cancer mortality should diminish as the quality of breast cancer care becomes more standardized.

Author List

Goodwin JS, Freeman JL, Mahnken JD, Freeman DH, Nattinger AB


Ann B. Nattinger MD, MPH Associate Provost, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-0036259161   18 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Aged, 80 and over
Breast Neoplasms
Cohort Studies
Middle Aged
Quality of Health Care
Risk Assessment
SEER Program
Survival Analysis
United States
jenkins-FCD Prod-353 9ccd8489072cb19f5b9f808bb23ed672c582f41e