Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Publication Title

American Journal of Public Health

Volume

101

Issue

1

First Page

112

Last Page

119

DOI

10.2105/AJPH.2009.173112

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Aged (80 and over), Colonic Neoplasms/mortality, Colonic Neoplasms/therapy, Early Diagnosis, Female, Health Services Accessibility, Health Status Disparities, Humans, Likelihood Functions, Male, Middle Aged, Ontario/epidemiology, San Francisco/epidemiology, Social Class, Survival Rate, Waiting Lists

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: We examined the differential effects of socioeconomic status on colon cancer care and survival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and San Francisco, California.

METHODS: We analyzed registry data for colon cancer patients from Ontario (n = 930) and California (n = 1014), diagnosed between 1996 and 2000 and followed until 2006, on stage, surgery, adjuvant chemotherapy, and survival. We obtained socioeconomic data for individuals' residences from population censuses.

RESULTS: Income was directly associated with lymph node evaluation, chemotherapy, and survival in San Francisco but not in Toronto. High-income persons had better survival rates in San Francisco than in Toronto. After adjustment for stage, survival was better for low-income residents of Toronto than for those of San Francisco. Middle- to low-income patients were more likely to receive indicated chemotherapy in Toronto than in San Francisco.

CONCLUSIONS: Socioeconomic factors appear to mediate colon cancer care in urban areas of the United States but not in Canada. Improvements are needed in screening, diagnostic investigations, and treatment access among low-income Americans.