Vol 65, No 4 (2015)
Research paper (original)
Published online: 2015-09-11

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Effectiveness and costs of rectal cancer therapy in Poland; a regional approach

Adam Kozierkiewicz, Roman Topór-Mądry, Anna Kowalczyk, Dariusz Gilewski, Andrzej Śliwczyński, Tadeusz Jędrzejczyk, Jacek Jassem
DOI: 10.5603/NJO.2015.0056
Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology 2015;65(4):271-280.


Introduction. Rectal cancer is one of the most common malignancies in Poland and is increasing in incidence. International comparisons indicate a positive correlation between health expenditures and 5-year cancer survival rates. This study, for the first time in Poland, correlates 5-year survival rates with expenditures on rectal cancer therapy in various regions of Poland.

Materials and methods. This study is based on the National Health Fund (NHF) data, available in the Diseases’ Treatment Register system. The analysis included approximately 25,000 patients who started their treatment between 2005 and 2008. We analysed 5-year survival rates among these patients versus average expenditures of the NHF on their treatment in particular regions.

Results. Observed 5-year survival rates between 2005 and 2008 were at a similar level (some 41% and 45% in men and women, respectively), with relatively large differences between regions (36% to 45% in men and 39% to 49% in women). The NHF expenditures in the various regions differed significantly. The average costs of an entire treatment cycle per person ranged from 32,300 PLN to 41,000 PLN in both men and women. For comparisons studied no association was found between mean expenditure for treatment and 5-year survival rates.

Conclusions. Survival of rectal cancer patients in various regions does not correlate with the average expenditures on their treatment. The differences in survival rates between the Polish regions will be due to other factors, such as tumour stage at presentation or treatment patterns in the regions. A more thorough analysis of this may aid in decreasing regional discrepancies in care and inequalities in survival rates in rectal cancer patients.

Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology