Social and spatial isolation as a determinant of cancer treatment and survival in Ireland

Key Information

Cancer type: 
All Cancers
Research Institution: 
Grant Amount: 
Start date: 
December 5, 2012
End date: 
December 4, 2013

Scientific Project Abstract

In this project we will explore whether people with cancer who are older, unmarried or live alone, or live in areas which are deprived, isolated, have few transport links or doctor's surgeries, do worse than others. We will study people diagnosed with two common cancers during 2004-2008. We will use data on people with cancer collected by the National Cancer Registry, and information from hospitals and the 2006 Census. Registry data will tell us about each person with cancer (e.g. when they were diagnosed and at which hospital' their, age, sex, treatment). Hospital data will tell us about their other health problems. The Census will show us where they live, what sort of area it is and how easy it is for them to travel to hospital or to a doctor. In our analyses we will study whether there are differences in: (1) the kinds of treatment people receive after being diagnosed with cancer' and (2) how long they survive and the reasons for their death. We will use a powerful kind of statistical calculation which allows us to bring together information on patients, doctors and hospitals and the areas where patients live. The results will tell us about things which, if changed, could improve fairness of cancer treatment in Ireland, and lead to better outcomes for patients. We will make sure to distribute our results to groups that represent cancer patients, those who make decisions about cancer services in Ireland, and those who provide cancer services.

For the non-scientist

One-line description: 
A study to find out if cancer patients who are older, who live alone or in rural areas or who live in deprived areas fare worse than other cancer patients in Ireland
What this project involves: 

This study aims to explore if cancer patients who are older, who live alone or in rural areas or who live in deprived areas do worse than others. This study will also investigate if there are differences in the kinds of treatments people are receiving, how long cancer patients are surviving and the cause of their deaths.  It is hoped that that results from this study will indicate if we need to improve fairness of cancer treatment in Ireland.