Frankenfeld CL, Leslie TF, Menon NM. 2021. Longer time-to-treatment but better survival for colorectal cancer patients presumptively not diagnosed in a hospital. Cancer Causes Control 32:1185–1191.
Purpose: To evaluate time-to-treatment and survival time in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients who presumptively were not diagnosed in a hospital.
Methods: Colorectal tumor-level data from Georgia Cancer Registry (GCR) was merged with American Hospital Association data for 2010-2015 using hospital identification number. Patients with tumors lacking a diagnosis hospital in the GCR were classified as presumptive non-hospital diagnosis (PNHD). Cox proportional hazard models were used to model PNHD and time-to-treatment and time-to-death following cancer diagnosis, stratified by race and controlling for personal and tumor characteristics.
Results: PNHD (n = 6,885, 29.6%) was associated with a lower likelihood of treatment at a given point in time (i.e., longer time-to-treatment), but did not differ for Black (HR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.73, 0.82) and White (HR = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.71, 0.76) patients. Time-to-death was longer (i.e., better survival) with PNHD, which also did not differ for Black (HR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.64, 0.76) and White (HR = 0.71, 95% CI: 0.67, 0.75) patients. These results were not explained by confounding factors or differences in tumor stage at diagnosis.
Conclusions: These observations warrant further research to understand whether there are potentially modifiable factors associated with the diagnosing location that can be used to benefit patient treatment trajectory and survival.