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Heitz F.,Huyssen Stiftung Knappschafts GmbH | Bender A.,Asklepios Klinik | Barinoff J.,Huyssen Stiftung Knappschafts GmbH | Lorenz-Salehi F.,Dr. Horst Schmidt Klinik | And 6 more authors.
Onkologie(Czech Republic) | Year: 2013

Background: Conflicting evidence has been published concerning survival disadvantages in the outcome of breast cancer patients in relationship to their residency in urban or rural communities. Methods: The primary aim of this study was to evaluate differences in patients and treatment characteristics between an urban and a rural breast cancer unit. Therefore, all early breast cancer patients treated consecutively between 1999 and 2007 in a rural and an urban breast cancer unit were included. Patient and tumor characteristics, treatment strategies, and guideline adherence were included to evaluate the prognoses of both populations. Results: Overall, data from 2,566 patients were included in this analysis. The 610 patients treated in the rural unit showed significantly more negative prognostic criteria than the 1,956 patients treated in the urban center. No differences were observed with respect to surgical and systemic treatment after adjustment for prognostic parameters. Adherence to national guidelines did not differ significantly between both settings and ranged between 78.0 and 95.6%. Furthermore, no differences regarding recurrence-free and overall survival were observed. Conclusions: The stage-adjusted pattern of care was similar in 2 German breast care units in a rural region and an urban area. Nevertheless, an earlier diagnosis of breast cancer should be enforced in rural areas to avoid extended treatment burden. © 2013 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg.

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