open access

Vol 62, No 4 (2012)
Research paper (original)
Published online: 2012-09-01
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Breast cancer treatment patterns in Poland

Adam Kozierkiewicz, Andrzej Śliwczyński, Jacek Jassem, Roman Topór-Mądry, Jacek Paszkiewicz
Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology 2012;62(4):250-262.

open access

Vol 62, No 4 (2012)
Original article
Published online: 2012-09-01

Abstract

Introduction. Breast cancer is one of the most important oncological problems in Poland, and epidemiological trends
suggest is increasing in magnitude. Outcomes of breast cancer control depend mainly on efficacy of diagnostic and
treatment processes. Only few treatment patterns of care studies on breast cancer are available in Poland, probably
due to difficulties in collecting reliable data. This article for the first time presents information on the national breast
cancer treatment patterns based upon the database of the National Health Fund (NHF).

Materials and methods. This study is based on the NHF data available in the Register of Diseases’ Treatment system.
The analysis included 104,000 cases of patients treated for breast cancer between 2004 and 2010, which constituted
the entire population of breast cancer patients identified as “confirmed” in the NHF system during this period.
A comparative analysis of frequency of certain types of health interventions (i.e., surgery, chemo- and radiotherapy
for curative and palliative care) between regions and over time has been performed.

Results. Frequency of application of different types of intervention has been a subject of substantial changes in the period analysed. The changes may have been partially attributed to incentives within the health insurance system. There have been also regional differences which might have been due to regional availability of certain therapies, and also deviations from widely accepted therapeutic standards.

Conclusions. These data suggest substantial differences in breast cancer treatment patterns in Poland. Some of these differences are independent of professional community strategies; whereas others reflect the preferences of various centres and groups of breast cancer specialists. Assuming that a set of optimal methods of breast cancer treatment can be defined, stronger emphasis should be put on their wide application. Current levels of differences and periodic fluctuations in treatment patterns suggests a lack of implementation of the national strategy in clinical practice.

Abstract

Introduction. Breast cancer is one of the most important oncological problems in Poland, and epidemiological trends
suggest is increasing in magnitude. Outcomes of breast cancer control depend mainly on efficacy of diagnostic and
treatment processes. Only few treatment patterns of care studies on breast cancer are available in Poland, probably
due to difficulties in collecting reliable data. This article for the first time presents information on the national breast
cancer treatment patterns based upon the database of the National Health Fund (NHF).

Materials and methods. This study is based on the NHF data available in the Register of Diseases’ Treatment system.
The analysis included 104,000 cases of patients treated for breast cancer between 2004 and 2010, which constituted
the entire population of breast cancer patients identified as “confirmed” in the NHF system during this period.
A comparative analysis of frequency of certain types of health interventions (i.e., surgery, chemo- and radiotherapy
for curative and palliative care) between regions and over time has been performed.

Results. Frequency of application of different types of intervention has been a subject of substantial changes in the period analysed. The changes may have been partially attributed to incentives within the health insurance system. There have been also regional differences which might have been due to regional availability of certain therapies, and also deviations from widely accepted therapeutic standards.

Conclusions. These data suggest substantial differences in breast cancer treatment patterns in Poland. Some of these differences are independent of professional community strategies; whereas others reflect the preferences of various centres and groups of breast cancer specialists. Assuming that a set of optimal methods of breast cancer treatment can be defined, stronger emphasis should be put on their wide application. Current levels of differences and periodic fluctuations in treatment patterns suggests a lack of implementation of the national strategy in clinical practice.

Get Citation
About this article
Title

Breast cancer treatment patterns in Poland

Journal

Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology

Issue

Vol 62, No 4 (2012)

Article type

Research paper (original)

Pages

250-262

Published online

2012-09-01

Bibliographic record

Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology 2012;62(4):250-262.

Authors

Adam Kozierkiewicz
Andrzej Śliwczyński
Jacek Jassem
Roman Topór-Mądry
Jacek Paszkiewicz

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