Lymphoma treatment quality varies widely

We might know that certain hospitals, doctors, clinics, have tremendous reputations for treating lymphoma. We might assume though that whatever they know can somehow be accessed by our local oncologist. In other words, it shouldn't matter too, too much where you get your treatment, right? We hope?

Not so, according to Dr. Fausto R. Loberiza of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, and the study he and his colleagues published in the online Journal of Clinical Oncology in mid-September 2009. Looking at over 2300 lymphoma patients in Nebraska and other midwestern states in the years between 1982 and 2006, they found the following:

Low- to intermediate-risk lymphoma patients living in rural areas fared worse if they got care at a community-based center, rather than a university-based treatment provider.

As for high-risk lymphoma, urban residents treated at an urban, university-based center survived longer than rural residents, as well as longer than urban residents cared for by community-based providers.

Survival for all urban patients and rural patients cared for at university centers was similar, but rural community-treated patients with low- to intermediate-risk disease were 37 percent more likely than urban university-treated patients to die within five years, and 26 percent more likely to die than their rural peers who got university-based care.

And for high-risk lymphoma patients, risk of death within five years was higher for all rural patients and community-treated urban patients than it was for urban university-treated patients.

Read more from Reuters' coverage here

LymphomaInfo Social