Lower SES Predicts More Advanced Renal Cancer at Diagnosis

Lower socioeconomic status linked with larger tumors, higher T stage, positive lymph nodes.
Lower socioeconomic status linked with larger tumors, higher T stage, positive lymph nodes.

ORLANDO—Lower socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with more advanced kidney cancer and poorer outcomes, researchers reported at the American Urological Association 2014 annual meeting.

Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry, Matthew Danzig, MD, and colleagues at Columbia University in New York studied kidney cancer patient data from 2001-2010. They examined tumor size and stage at presentation, overall survival rate, and county-level socioeconomic status. They identified 89,632 cases of kidney cancer.

Using a socioeconomic index that measured median income, percentage of population living in poverty, and percentage of high school graduates per county, lower SES was a significant predictor of larger tumor size, higher stage, and positive nodal status, but it was not a significant predictor of metastasis at diagnosis.

Lower SES also significantly predicted shorter overall survival when controlling for other factors such as race, gender and age.

“Therefore, it can be inferred that improved access to healthcare is a form of screening that results in a greater likelihood of incidental detection of kidney cancer,” the researchers concluded in their study abstract.

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