Thursday, February 22

Homelessness Tied to Worse Cancer Outcomes Among Veterans

Oncology/Hematology > > Other Cancers– However, all-cause death rates in lung, colon cancer lower versus other health care settings

by Mike Bassett, Staff Writer, MedPage Today December 21, 2023

Homelessness was connected with medical diagnosis of colorectal cancer at later phases and increased rates of all-cause death for those with lung and colorectal cancers, according to a retrospective research study of veterans.

In an accomplice of over 100,000 clients who got care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health system, those experiencing homelessness were most likely to be detected with phase IV colorectal cancer compared to those who had real estate (22% vs 19%; P=0.02), reported Hannah C. Decker, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, and coworkers.

Clients experiencing homelessness likewise had longer imply lengths of healthcare facility stay for all cancer types studied, that included lung, colorectal, and breast cancers, they kept in mind in JAMA Network Open

Significantly, unhoused clients likewise had greater rates of all-cause death 3 months after medical diagnosis of both lung (changed HR 1.1, 95% CI 1.1-1.2, P< 0.001) and colorectal cancers (aHR 1.3, 95% CI 1.2-1.4, P< 0.001).

Decker and coworkers likewise pointed out that these findings varied from those seen in other health care settings, which reported 1.7 to 2.3 times the rate of lung cancer death and 1.4 to 1.7 times the rate of colorectal cancer death in clients experiencing homelessness.

Hence, the findings in this research study “recommend that there might be very important systems in the VA that might notify policy to enhance oncologic results for clients experiencing homelessness,” they composed.

In a commentary accompanying the research study, Maria C. Raven, MD, MPH, likewise of the University of California San Francisco, stated there were a number of elements that assist discuss how the VA has the ability to offer more equivalent cancer results compared to other health systems in the U.S.

Raven kept in mind that insurance coverage is not a gain access to barrier within the VA, and that the VA has a longstanding, nationally incorporated electronic health record that lowers variations when comparing unhoused with housed veterans.

Raven likewise explained that a VA real estate effort that started in 2009 made it possible for outreach employees to communicate with veterans while they were homeless to assist collaborate treatment.

“While the [VA] system is not best, based upon existing research study this research study reveals it outshines other systems of care,” she composed. “Reducing health care variations for individuals experiencing homelessness is important, and the [VA] can work as an example of what it requires to do so.”

Decker and associates stated that previous research study assessing the effect of homelessness on cancer treatment has actually concentrated on screening, however cancer results have actually been understudied in clients experiencing homelessness.

Utilizing information from the VA to define the medical diagnosis, treatment, surgical results, and death in clients with cancer who have actually experienced homelessness works, they kept in mind,

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