skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Refusal of Curative Radiation Therapy and Surgery Among Patients With Cancer

Purpose: Surgery and radiation therapy represent the only curative options for many patients with solid malignancies. However, despite the recommendations of their physicians, some patients refuse these therapies. This study characterized factors associated with refusal of surgical or radiation therapy as well as the impact of refusal of recommended therapy on patients with localized malignancies. Methods and Materials: We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program to identify a population-based sample of 925,127 patients who had diagnoses of 1 of 8 common malignancies for which surgery and/or radiation are believed to confer a survival benefit between 1995 and 2008. Refusal of oncologic therapy, as documented in the SEER database, was the primary outcome measure. Multivariable logistic regression was used to investigate factors associated with refusal. The impact of refusal of therapy on cancer-specific mortality was assessed with Fine and Gray's competing risks regression. Results: In total, 2441 of 692,938 patients (0.4%) refused surgery, and 2113 of 232,189 patients (0.9%) refused radiation, despite the recommendations of their physicians. On multivariable analysis, advancing age, decreasing annual income, nonwhite race, and unmarried status were associated with refusal of surgery, whereas advancing age, decreasing annual income, Asian American race, and unmarried status weremore » associated with refusal of radiation (P<.001 in all cases). Refusal of surgery and radiation were associated with increased estimates of cancer-specific mortality for all malignancies evaluated (hazard ratio [HR], 2.80, 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.59-3.03; P<.001 and HR 1.97 [95% CI, 1.78-2.18]; P<.001, respectively). Conclusions: Nonwhite, less affluent, and unmarried patients are more likely to refuse curative surgical and/or radiation-based oncologic therapy, raising concern that socioeconomic factors may drive some patients to forego potentially life-saving care.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [4] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [4]
  1. Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, Boston, Massachusetts (United States)
  2. Department of Statistics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut (United States)
  3. Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts (United States)
  4. Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (United States)
  5. Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas (United States)
  6. Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota (United States)
  7. Department of Urology, University of California, Los Angeles, California (United States)
  8. Cancer Prognostics and Health Outcomes Unit, University of Montreal Health Center, Montreal, Quebec (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22420362
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics; Journal Volume: 89; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
62 RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE; DIAGNOSIS; EPIDEMIOLOGY; HAZARDS; MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE; MORTALITY; NEOPLASMS; PATIENTS; RADIATION DOSE UNITS; RADIOTHERAPY; RECOMMENDATIONS; SURGERY