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Nearly half of women with advanced breast cancer in the US not receiving life-saving treatment
Date:6/27/2011

ge of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and the National Quality Forum track compliance with evidence-based guidelines as part of their accreditation process. Adding the PRMT guidelines to the already established list of quality measures would likely increase the use of PMRT among high-risk patients.
  • Create financial incentives. Payers with widespread networks have an opportunity to influence evidence-based practice with financial incentives.
  • Use electronic medical records (EMRs). EMRs can be used by government organizations, like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to measure quality and compliance.
  • Push for cancer societies to promote accountability. Encourage societies like the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) and the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to promote the use of PMRT guidelines among its members.

    "Women with advanced breast cancer benefit the most from PMRT, but for some reason they're simply not getting it," says Smith. "While we need to identify and correct the treatment barriers, physician accountability is necessary to ensure women receive optimal care. For some patients, it can be the difference between life and death."

    Smith and his colleagues used the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database to identify women age 66 and older who underwent mastectomy for invasive breast cancer between 1992 and 2005. Patient characteristics included year of and age at diagnosis; race; marital status; SEER registry; urban/rural residence; median income; education; and co-morbid conditions spanning an interval from 12 months to one month before diagnosis. Patients were then stratified into low-risk, intermediate-risk and high-risk groups based on tumor-related variables to be consistent with current guidelines.

    Further research is needed to determine why PMRT has been excluded as a treatment option in almost half of older patients with adva
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  • Contact: William Fitzgerald
    wbfitzgerald@mdanderson.org
    713-792-9518
    University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
    Source:Eurekalert

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