Almost one third of Australian population live outside major metropolitan areas. Current evidence suggests that cancer patients in rural and regional present with more advanced disease, have poorer outcomes, and shorter survival compared to their metropolitan counterparts. We propose a retrospective study to assess patient demographics, time to cancer diagnosis, treatment and survival outcomes in patients with breast, prostate, colorectal and lung cancers at Goulburn Valley Health in the last ten years.
Materials and Methods
The study will be conducted in accordance with Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects after approval from Goulburn Valley Health’s Human Research Ethics Committee. Patients aged over 18 years who were referred, diagnosed or received treatment at Goulburn Valley Health for breast, prostate, colorectal and lung cancers from 1st of January 2006 to 31st of December 2015 will be included in the study. Information collected will include patient demographics, time from referral to oncology appointment/diagnosis/treatment, time from surgery to adjuvant chemotherapy, rates of chemotherapy administration and median overall survival. This data will be compared to the available data from one major Victorian metropolitan integrated cancer service and the Optimal Care Pathways by Cancer Council Victoria. Factors influencing the management and outcomes will be explored in further detail.
Results & Expected Outcomes
Data collection and analysis are currently in progress. The aim of this retrospective research is to explore current patient outcomes in a regional Victorian Centre. This research also aims to identify the shortfalls and to suggest possible solutions to improve cancer services in regional Victoria.