To evaluate how various demographic factors impact the stage of cancer at diagnosis.
Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a common cancer with variable clinical presentation. While the probability of cure is high, more advanced tumors are less likely to be cured and more likely to have functional deficits from surgical treatment. Given the worsened prognosis of a later-stage diagnosis, it is important to understand what may contribute to a late presentation.
Using the National Cancer Database (NCDB), 73,330 patients were identified between 2004 and 2016 with laryngeal SCC. Early (stage 0 or I) vs late-stage (stage IV) cancers were compared based on demographic variables utilizing descriptive statistics, multivariate, and chi-square analyses on SPSS version 28 with a significance of P < .05.
Women were 27% more likely to have late-stage SCC than men. Black patients were 44% more likely to have late-stage SCC than White patients. No significant difference was found between Hispanic and non-Hispanic patients. Patients with private insurance, Medicare, or other government insurance were less likely (73%, 74%, and 62%, respectively) to have late-stage SCC compared to patients without insurance. Patients with Medicaid were 12% more likely to present later than the uninsured. Patients making $63,000 or greater were 23% less likely to have late-stage SCC than those making less than $38,000. Patients living in more educated areas (< 7% of adults had no high school degree) were 32% less likely to have late-stage SCC compared to less educated areas (> 21% of adults had no high school degree).
Patients who are Black, uninsured or on Medicaid, have low-socioeconomic status, and live in less educated areas have less favorable diagnoses than their counterparts. These data demonstrates inequities in health care and may lead to a better understanding of social determinants of health that can be used to advocate for improved access and quality of care.