Int J Clin Oncol. 2021 Mar 1. doi: 10.1007/s10147-021-01890-3. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Potential disparities between cancer patients with and without disabilities remained to be validate in Japan.
METHODS: We surveyed retrospective data on hospital cancer registration as well as information on disability certificates obtained through the Hokushin Ganpro database. In total, 93,545 cancer patients in 10 principal hospitals covering the region of northwestern Japan were registered with the Hokushin Ganpro database between 2010 and 2015. The database included the following data: diagnosis date, cancer type, staging, treatment, cancer detection process, and possession of a disability certificate.
RESULTS: We found that 2983 patients, which accounted for 3.2% of the total patients, had disabilities. No significant differences in gender, age at diagnosis, cancer stage distribution, and cancer incidence rates were observed between the disabled and non-disabled patients. Even though the proportion of early-stage cancer among disabled patients differed only slightly from that in non-disabled patients, early-stage cancer was more frequently diagnosed in patients with disabilities during their regular hospital visits than in those without disabilities, who had more opportunity for early cancer detection during cancer screening. According to in-house data reflecting treatment period and process from a single hospital, all 16 disabled patients treated with chemotherapy completed the treatment until disease progression or end of predetermined cycles.
CONCLUSION: These results indicate that deep disparities between cancer patients with and without disabilities are not apparent and that the disabled patients in the region of northwestern Japan receive appropriate hospital follow-up.