Comparative use of cancer therapies in Australian farm, rural nonfarm and urban residents aged 45 years and older

Julie Depczynski, Timothy Dobbins, Bruce Armstrong, Tony Lower

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Abstract

Objectives and importance of the study: To determine whether use of selected therapies for prostate, breast and colorectal cancer in farm residents differs from that in rural nonfarm and urban counterparts. Little is known about cancer therapies used by farm residents. STUDY TYPE: Data linkage cohort study. METHODS: Baseline survey information from the Sax Institute's 45 and Up Study cohort was linked with data from the New South Wales Admitted Patient Data Collection for 2006-2012. Adjusted odds of receiving surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and/or brachytherapy for each cancer were compared between groups, controlling for selected variables. RESULTS: Differences in the likelihood of surgery for breast and colorectal cancer between groups were not significant. However, for prostate cancer, farm men had 35% greater odds of prostatectomy than rural nonfarm men (odds ratio [OR] 1.35; 95% CI 1.05, 1.72). Urban men were most likely to have had brachytherapy, with three times greater odds of treatment than farm men (OR 2.90; 95% CI 1.51, 5.56). Urban women were most likely to have had chemotherapy for breast cancer, having twice the odds of receiving this treatment as farm women (OR 2.24; 95% CI 1.25, 4.04). The odds of chemotherapy for colorectal cancer among rural nonfarm residents were two-thirds the odds among urban men (OR 0.62; 95% CI 0.44, 0.90) and urban women (OR 0.57; 95% CI 0.37, 0.88). Age, distance, income and health insurance factors contributed to differences in nonsurgical care between groups. CONCLUSIONS: Cancer-related surgical services for breast and colorectal cancer were comparable between groups. Farm and rural nonfarm residents may have been disadvantaged in relation to nonsurgical therapies for prostate, breast and colorectal cancer compared with urban counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Journal Public Health Research & Practice
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2019

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