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Fink A.K.,ICF International | German R.R.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Heron M.,National Center for Health Statistics | Stewart S.L.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | And 4 more authors.
Cancer Epidemiology | Year: 2012

Background: Cancer mortality statistics, an important indicator for monitoring cancer burden, are traditionally restricted to instances when cancer is determined to be the underlying cause of death (UCD) based on information recorded on standard certificates of death. This study's objective was to determine the impact of using multiple causes of death codes to compute site-specific cancer mortality statistics. Methods: The state cancer registries of California, Colorado and Idaho provided linked cancer registry and death certificate data for individuals who died between 2002 and 2004, had at least one cancer listed on their death certificate and were diagnosed with cancer between 1993 and 2004. These linked data were used to calculate the site-specific proportion of cancers not selected as the UCD (non-UCD) among all cancer-related deaths (any mention on the death certificate). In addition, the retrospective concordance between the death certificate and the population-based cancer registry, measured as confirmations rates, was calculated for deaths with cancer as the UCD, as a non-UCD, and for any mention. Results: Overall, non-UCD deaths comprised 9.5 percent of total deaths; 11 of the 79 cancer sites had proportions greater than 3 standard deviations from 9.5 percent. The confirmation rates for UCD and for any mention did not differ significantly for any of the cancer sites. Conclusion and impact: The site-specific variation in proportions and rates suggests that for a few cancer sites, death rates might be computed for both UCD and any mention of the cancer site on the death certificate. Nevertheless, this study provides evidence that, in general, restricting to UCD deaths will not under report cancer mortality statistics. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Yasmeen S.,University of California at Davis | Chlebowski R.T.,University of California at Los Angeles | Xing G.,University of California at Davis | Morris C.R.,California Cancer Registry | Romano P.S.,University of California at Davis
Cancer Medicine | Year: 2013

Comorbidity burden has been suggested as influencing early-stage breast cancer therapy but previous studies have not considered the severity of these comorbidities. Therefore, we examined the influence of comorbidity severity by age and race/ethnicity on early-stage breast cancer treatment over time. We used linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare data to determine whether comorbidity severity influences receipt of definitive and preferred early-stage breast cancer treatment and explains racial/ethnic and age disparities in receiving such therapy. Definitive surgical therapy was defined as any primary surgery other than breast conserving surgery (BCS) without radiation therapy (RT). Preferred surgical therapy was defined as BCS plus RT. Comorbidities were defined as either "unstable" (life threatening or difficult to control) or "stable" (less serious but with potential to influence daily activity). Surgical treatment trends from 1993 to 2005 were analyzed in regression models adjusting for comorbidity burden, age, and race/ethnicity in 93,596 elderly female Medicare beneficiaries with stage 1-2 invasive breast cancer. Receipt of BCS alone (compared with any definitive surgical therapy) was independently associated with neighborhood socioeconomic status, unmarried status (OR [odds ratio] 1.18, 95% CI: 1.12-1.23), tumor size (OR 0.78, 95% CI: 0.69-0.87 for tumors ≥4 cm vs. <2 cm), tumor grade (OR = 0.89, 0.88, and 0.81 for grades 2-4 vs. 1, respectively), stable comorbidities (OR = 0.76, 0.71, and 0.72 for 1, 2, and 3 vs. 0 stable comorbidities, respectively), and unstable comorbidities (OR 1.20, 95% CI: 1.14-1.28). Black women were 4-5% more likely to receive suboptimal therapy (BCS alone), even after adjusting for all available patient, tumor, and regional characteristics. Black race/ethnicity was associated with higher probability of receiving suboptimal treatment, independent of comorbidities, although we do not know whether this effect was due to clinicians' failure to offer RT or patients' failure to accept it. © 2013 The Authors. Cancer Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


German R.R.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Fink A.K.,ICF Macro | Heron M.,National Center for Health Statistics | Stewart S.L.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | And 3 more authors.
Cancer Epidemiology | Year: 2011

Background: One measure of the accuracy of cancer mortality statistics is the concordance between cancer defined as the underlying cause of death from death certificates and cancer diagnoses recorded in central, population-based cancer registries. Previous studies of such concordance are outdated. Objective: To characterize the accuracy of cancer mortality statistics from the concordance between cancer cause of death and primary cancer site at diagnosis. Design: Central cancer registry records from California, Colorado, and Idaho in the U.S. were linked with state vital statistics data and evaluated by demographic and tumor information across 79 site categories. A retrospective arm (confirmation rate per 100 deaths) compared death certificate data from 2002 to 2004 with cancer registry diagnoses from 1993 to 2004, while a prospective arm (detection rate per 100 deaths) compared cancer registry diagnoses from 1993 to 1995 with death certificate data from 1993 to 2004 by International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) version used to code deaths. Results: With n=265,863 deaths where cancer was recorded as the underlying cause based on the death certificate, the overall confirmation rate for ICD-10 was 82.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 82.6-83.0%), the overall detection rate for ICD-10 was 81.0% (95% CI, 80.4-81.6%), and the overall detection rate for ICD-9 was 85.0% (95% CI, 84.8-85.2%). These rates varied across primary sites, where some rates were <50%, some were 95% or greater, and notable differences between confirmation and detection rates were observed. Conclusions: Important unique information on the quality of cancer mortality data obtained from death certificates is provided. In addition, information is provided for future studies of the concordance of primary cancer site between population-based cancer registry data and data from death certificates, particularly underlying causes of death coded in ICD-10. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Johnson C.J.,Cancer Data Registry of Idaho | Weir H.K.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Fink A.K.,ICF International | German R.R.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | And 11 more authors.
Cancer Epidemiology | Year: 2013

Background: In order to ensure accurate survival estimates, population-based cancer registries must ascertain all, or nearly all, patients diagnosed with cancer in their catchment area, and obtain complete follow-up information on all deaths that occurred among registered cancer patients. In the US, linkage with state death records may not be sufficient to ascertain all deaths. Since 1979, all state vital statistics offices have reported their death certificate information to the National Death Index (NDI). Objective: This study was designed to measure the impact of linkage with the NDI on population-based relative and cancer cause-specific survival rates in the US. Methods: Central cancer registry records for patients diagnosed 1993-1995 from California, Colorado, and Idaho were linked with death certificate information (deaths 1993-2004) from their individual state vital statistics offices and with the NDI. Two databases were created: one contained incident records with deceased patients linked only to state death records and the second database contained incident records with deceased patients linked to both state death records and the NDI. Survival estimates and 95% confidence intervals from each database were compared by state and primary site category. Results: At 60 months follow-up, 42.1-48.1% of incident records linked with state death records and an additional 0.7-3.4% of records linked with the NDI. Survival point estimates from the analysis without NDI were not contained within the corresponding 95% CIs from the NDI augmented analysis for all sites combined and colorectal, pancreas, lung and bronchus, breast, prostate, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and Kaposi sarcoma cases in all 3 states using relative survival methods. Additional combinations of state and primary site had significant survival estimate differences, which differed by method (relative versus cause-specific survival). Conclusion: To ensure accurate population-based cancer survival rates, linkage with the National Death Index to ascertain out of state and late registered deaths is a necessary process for US central cancer registries. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


News Article | February 20, 2013
Site: www.businessinsider.com

New York City is continuing to make its mark in the startup community. In the last year, big-name companies spent $8.3 billion on mergers and acquisition deals in 100 New York-based startups, according to a recent report by PrivCo. That tally put New York right behind the heart of the tech industry, Silicon Valley, where 226 deals totaled $21.5 billion. After speaking with VCs and entrepreneurs, and scoping out AngelList, we selected 25 early stage startups that are generating a lot of buzz in the tech community.

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