Late Breaking News
Cancer Treatment Too Often Determined by Age
Prostate Cancer Most Frequently Diagnosed Among Veterans
About 40,000 incident cancer cases are reported in the Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry (VACCR) each year and represent about 3% of all U.S. cancer cases, according to a report from the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care at the Durham, NC, VAMC.
The objective of the analysis, according to the authors, was to provide the first comprehensive description of cancer incidence as reported in VACCR. Data obtained from VACCR for incident cancers diagnosed in 2007 was compared with that of the general U.S. cancer population.
In that year, 97.5% of VA cancers were diagnosed among men, according to the study published recently in Military Medicine. Of those, 78.5% were in white veterans, 19% in black veterans and 2.5% in veterans of other races.
Median age at diagnosis was 66 years, with the geographic distribution of cancer patients in VA aligning with that of overall VA beneficiaries.
The most commonly diagnosed cancers were similar between VA and the U.S. male cancer population. The most frequently diagnosed cancers among VA cancer patients were:
• prostate (31.8%),
• lung/bronchus (18.8%),
• colon/rectum (8.6%),
• urinary bladder (3.6%), and
• skin melanomas (3.4%).
The authors also noted that VA patients were diagnosed at an earlier stage of disease for the three most commonly diagnosed cancers — lung/bronchus, colon/rectum and prostate — compared with the U.S. male cancer population.
1: Zullig LL, Jackson GL, Dorn RA, Provenzale DT, McNeil R, Thomas CM, Kelley MJ. Cancer incidence among patients of the US Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Mil Med. 2012 Jun;177(6):693-701. PubMed PMID: 22730846.
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