Retrospective analysis of cancer survival across South-Western Victoria in Australia

Shu Fen Wong, Leigh Matheson, Kate Morrissy, Graham Pitson, David M. Ashley, Mustafa Khasraw, Paula Lorgelly, Margaret J Henry

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This paper aims to describe cancer survival and examine association between survival and socio-demographic characteristics across Barwon South-Western region (BSWR) in Victoria, Australia. Design: This study is based on the retrospective cohort database of patients accessing oncology services across BSWR. Setting: Six rural and three urban hospital settings across the BSWR. Participants: The participants were patients who were diagnosed with cancer in 2009. Main outcome measures: Overall survival (OS) of participants was the main outcome measure. Results: Total of 1778 eligible patients had four-year OS for all cancers combined of 59.7% (95% CI, 57.4-62.0). Improved OS was observed for patients in the upper socio-economic tertile (64.2%; 95% CI, 60.9-67.5) compared to the middle (59.3%; 95% CI, 55.5-63.1) and lowest tertiles (49.6%; 95% CI, 44.2-54.9) (P(P < 0.01). On multivariate analyses, higher socioeconomic status remained a significant predictor of OSadjusting for gender, remoteness and age (HR [hazardratio] 0.81; 95% CI 0.74–0.89; P < 0.01). Remoteness was significantly associated with improved OS after adjusting for age, gender and socio-economic status(HR 0.86; 95% CI, 0.77–0.97; P = 0.01). Older age ≥70years compared to <70 years conferred inferior OS (HR3.08; 95% CI, 2.64–3.59; P < 0.01).Conclusions: Our study confirmed improved survival outcomes for patients of higher socio-economic status and younger age. Future research to explain the unexpected survival benefit in patients who lived in more remote areas should examine factors including the correlation between geographical residence and eventual treatment facility as well as compare the BSWR care model to other regions’ approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Mortality
  • Neoplasm
  • Rural health
  • Socio-economic status
  • Urban health

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