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Cancer in Relation to Socioeconomic Status: Stage at Diagnosis in Texas, 2004–2008

David R. Risser, PhD, MPH, Eric A. Miller, PhD
Volume: 105 Issue: 10 October, 2012

Abstract:

Objectives: To determine whether stage of cancer diagnosis was associated with the socioeconomic status (SES) of the census tract where the patient resides, and to assess whether this is modified by race, ethnicity, or urban/rural residence, other factors known to affect cancer diagnosis stage.


Methods: Using 2004–2008 data from the Texas Cancer Registry, we examined the distribution of stage at diagnosis in Texas residents for 15 cancer sites by the SES of the census tract of residence. Stage at diagnosis was categorized into the summary stage categories of early (in situ [preinvasive disease] and localized) and late stage (regional and distant spread). Age-adjusted odds ratios for late-stage versus early-stage cancer diagnosis in low versus high SES census tracts were evaluated by cancer site, race, ethnicity, and urban versus rural residence.


Results: For most cancer sites, late-stage cancer diagnosis increased with decreasing SES. These findings were consistent by cancer site, race, ethnicity, and in urban and rural areas of the state.


Conclusions: For most cancer sites, particularly those likely to have patients diagnosed early by screening, late-stage cancer diagnosis is increased in Texas populations residing in lower SES census tracts compared with higher SES census tracts.

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