Papers

Relation between socioeconomic deprivation and pathological prognostic factors in women with breast cancer

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6961.1054 (Published 22 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1054
  1. A G Carnon,
  2. A Ssemwogerere,
  3. D W Lamont,
  4. D J Hole,
  5. E A Mallon,
  6. W D George,
  7. G R Gillis
  1. Correspondence to: Dr A G Carnon, Department of Public Health, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8RZ
  • Accepted 19 August 1994

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relation between socioeconomic deprivation and pathological prognostic factors in women with breast cancer as a possible explanation for socioeconomic differences in survival.

DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of data from cancer registry and from pathology and biochemistry records.

SETTING: Catchment areas of two large teaching hospitals in Glasgow.

SUBJECTS: 1361 women aged under 75 who had breast cancer diagnosed between 1980 and 1987.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Tumour size, axillary lymph node status, histological grade, and oestrogen receptor concentration in relation to deprivation category of area of residence.

RESULTS: There was no significant relation between socioeconomic deprivation and four pathological prognostic factors: 93 (32%) women in the most affluent group presented with tumours less than 20 mm in size compared with 91 (31%) women in the most deprived group; 152 (48%) of the most affluent group presented with negative nodes compared with 129 (46%) of the most deprived group; 23 (22%) of the most affluent group presented with grade I tumours compared with 12 (17%) of the most deprived group; and 142 (51%) of the most affluent group had a low oestrogen receptor concentration at presentation compared with 148 (52%) of the most deprived group. None of these differences was statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS Differences in survival from breast cancer by socioeconomic deprivation category could not be accounted for by differences in tumour stage or biology. Other possible explanations, such as differences in treatment or in host response, should be investigated.

Footnotes

    • Accepted 19 August 1994