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Belfast, United Kingdom

Carney P.,National University of Ireland | Gavin A.,Northern Ireland Cancer Registry | O'Neill C.,National University of Ireland
BMJ Open | Year: 2013

Objective: To examine the differences in the interval between diagnosis and initiation of treatment among women with breast cancer in Northern Ireland. Design: A cross-sectional observational study. Setting: All breast cancer care patients in the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry in 2006. Participants: All women diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in Northern Ireland in 2006. Main outcome measure: The number of days between diagnosis and initiation of treatment for breast cancer. Results: The mean (median) interval between diagnosis and initiation of treatment among public patients was 19 (15) compared with 14 (12) among those whose care involved private providers. The differences between individual public providers were as marked as those between the public and private sector - the mean (median) ranging between 14 (12) and 25 (22) days. Multivariate models revealed that the differences were evident when a range of patient characteristics were controlled for including cancer stage. Conclusions: A relatively small number of women received care privately in Northern Ireland but experienced shorter intervals between diagnosis and initiation of treatment than those who received care wholly in the public system. The variation among public providers was as great as that between the public and private providers. The impact of such differences on survival and in light of waiting time targets introduced in Northern Ireland warrants investigation. Source

Coleman H.G.,Queens University of Belfast | Bhat S.,Queens University of Belfast | Murray L.J.,Belfast Health and Social Care Trust | McManus D.,Belfast Health and Social Care Trust | And 2 more authors.
European Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2011

Oesophageal adenocarcinoma, a highly fatal cancer, has risen in incidence in Western societies, but it is unclear whether this is due to increasing incidence of its pre-cursor condition, Barrett's oesophagus (BO) or whether the proportion of BO patients undergoing malignant progression has increased in the face of unchanged BO incidence. Data from population-based studies of BO incidence is limited, with equivocal results to date difficult to distinguish from changes in endoscopic practices. The aim of this study was to assess population trends in Barrett's oesophagus (BO) diagnoses in relation to endoscopy and biopsy rates over a 13 year period. The Northern Ireland Barrett's oesophagus Register (NIBR) is a population-based register of all 9,329 adults diagnosed with columnar epithelium of the oesophagus in Northern Ireland between 1993 and 2005, of whom 58.3% were male. European age-standardised annual BO incidence rates were calculated per 100,000 of the population, per 100 endoscopies and per 100 endoscopies including an oesophageal biopsy. Average annual BO incidence rates rose by 159% during the study period, increasing from 23.9/100,000 during 1993-1997 to 62.0/100,000 during 2002-2005. This elevation far exceeded corresponding increases in rates of endoscopies and oesophageal biopsies being conducted. BO incidence increased most markedly in individuals aged <60 years, and most notably amongst males aged <40 years. This study points towards a true increase in the incidence of BO which would appear to be most marked in young males. These findings have significant implications for future rates of oesophageal adenocarcinoma and surveillance programmes. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Coleman M.P.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Forman D.,International Agency for Research on Cancer | Bryant H.,Canadian Partnership Against Cancer | Rachet B.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | And 19 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2011

Cancer survival is a key measure of the effectiveness of health-care systems. Persistent regional and international differences in survival represent many avoidable deaths. Differences in survival have prompted or guided cancer control strategies. This is the first study in a programme to investigate international survival disparities, with the aim of informing health policy to raise standards and reduce inequalities in survival. Data from population-based cancer registries in 12 jurisdictions in six countries were provided for 2·4 million adults diagnosed with primary colorectal, lung, breast (women), or ovarian cancer during 1995-2007, with follow-up to Dec 31, 2007. Data quality control and analyses were done centrally with a common protocol, overseen by external experts. We estimated 1-year and 5-year relative survival, constructing 252 complete life tables to control for background mortality by age, sex, and calendar year. We report age-specific and age-standardised relative survival at 1 and 5 years, and 5-year survival conditional on survival to the first anniversary of diagnosis. We also examined incidence and mortality trends during 1985-2005. Relative survival improved during 1995-2007 for all four cancers in all jurisdictions. Survival was persistently higher in Australia, Canada, and Sweden, intermediate in Norway, and lower in Denmark, England, Northern Ireland, and Wales, particularly in the first year after diagnosis and for patients aged 65 years and older. International differences narrowed at all ages for breast cancer, from about 9 to 5 at 1 year and from about 14 to 8 at 5 years, but less or not at all for the other cancers. For colorectal cancer, the international range narrowed only for patients aged 65 years and older, by 2-6 at 1 year and by 2-3 at 5 years. Up-to-date survival trends show increases but persistent differences between countries. Trends in cancer incidence and mortality are broadly consistent with these trends in survival. Data quality and changes in classification are not likely explanations. The patterns are consistent with later diagnosis or differences in treatment, particularly in Denmark and the UK, and in patients aged 65 years and older. Department of Health, England; and Cancer Research UK. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Walters S.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Maringe C.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Coleman M.P.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Peake M.D.,Network Intelligence | And 20 more authors.
Thorax | Year: 2013

Background: The authors consider whether differences in stage at diagnosis could explain the variation in lung cancer survival between six developed countries in 2004-2007. Methods: Routinely collected population-based data were obtained on all adults (15-99 years) diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004-2007 and registered in regional and national cancer registries in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK. Stage data for 57 352 patients were consolidated from various classification systems. Flexible parametric hazard models on the log cumulative scale were used to estimate net survival at 1 year and the excess hazard up to 18 months after diagnosis. Results: Age-standardised 1-year net survival from non-small cell lung cancer ranged from 30% (UK) to 46% (Sweden). Patients in the UK and Denmark had lower survival than elsewhere, partly because of a more adverse stage distribution. However, there were also wide international differences in stage-specific survival. Net survival from TNM stage I non-small cell lung cancer was 16% lower in the UK than in Sweden, and for TNM stage IV disease survival was 10% lower. Similar patterns were found for small cell lung cancer. Conclusions: There are comparability issues when using population-based data but, even given these constraints, this study shows that, while differences in stage at diagnosis explain some of the international variation in overall lung cancer survival, wide disparities in stage-specific survival exist, suggesting that other factors are also important such as differences in treatment. Stage should be included in international cancer survival studies and the comparability of population-based data should be improved. Source

Autier P.,International Prevention Research Institute | Boniol M.,International Prevention Research Institute | Gavin A.,Northern Ireland Cancer Registry | Vatten L.J.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology
BMJ (Online) | Year: 2011

Objective: To compare trends in breast cancer mortality within three pairs of neighbouring European countries in relation to implementation of screening. Design: Retrospective trend analysis. Setting: Three country pairs (Northern Ireland (United Kingdom) v Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands v Belgium and Flanders (Belgian region south of the Netherlands), and Sweden v Norway). Data sources: WHO mortality database on cause of death and data sources on mammography screening, cancer treatment, and risk factors for breast cancer mortality. Main outcome measures: Changes in breast cancer mortality calculated from linear regressions of log transformed, age adjusted death rates. Joinpoint analysis was used to identify the year when trends in mortality for all ages began to change. Results: From 1989 to 2006, deaths from breast cancer decreased by 29% in Northern Ireland and by 26% in the Republic of Ireland; by 25% in the Netherlands and by 20% in Belgium and 25% in Flanders; and by 16% in Sweden and by 24% in Norway. The time trend and year of downward inflexion were similar between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and between the Netherlands and Flanders. In Sweden, mortality rates have steadily decreased since 1972, with no downward inflexion until 2006. Countries of each pair had similar healthcare services and prevalence of risk factors for breast cancer mortality but differing implementation of mammography screening, with a gap of about 10-15 years. Conclusions: The contrast between the time differences in implementation of mammography screening and the similarity in reductions in mortality between the country pairs suggest that screening did not play a direct part in the reductions in breast cancer mortality. Source

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