-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Most U.S. cancer patients
covered by Medicare receive appropriate surgical care at the
nation's hospitals, a new study finds.
Researchers found that while most hospitals follow established
practice surgical guidelines in treating these patients, some
diverge from the guidelines. The study, published online June 20 in
Archives of Surgery, was partially funded by the American Surgical Association.
In the study, Dr. Caprice C. Greenberg, of Brigham and Women's
Hospital in Boston, and colleagues analyzed national data on
surgical treatment of Medicare patients aged 65 and older who were
diagnosed with one of five types of cancer -- breast, colon,
gastric, rectal or thyroid -- between January 2000 and December
2005. The study authors focused on 11 National Comprehensive Cancer
Network (NCCN) guidelines for surgical care of cancer patients.
More than 90 percent of hospitals adhered to seven of the 11
guidelines. The guidelines most likely to be followed were those
with a high NCCN rating.
Among those who were most likely to receive appropriate cancer
care were patients who were white, younger, healthier, wealthier,
had less-aggressive cancers and lived in the Midwest, the
"It is critical that surgeons focus on generation of the data necessary to inform clinical decision making and promote high-quality surgical care," the study authors noted in a journal news release.
The American Cancer Society has more about
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