Agreement High for Prognostic Cancer Screening Tools

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Agreement High for Prognostic Cancer Screening Tools
Agreement High for Prognostic Cancer Screening Tools

TUESDAY, May 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For cancer screening in Medicare beneficiaries, there is substantial agreement for different prognostic tools for short- and long-term survival, according to a study published online April 30 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Craig Evan Pollack, M.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues examined agreement for four indices for breast and prostate cancer screening in predicting short-term (four to five years) and long-term (nine to 10 years) survival. Data were included for 9,469 Medicare beneficiaries aged 66 to 90 years with survey and claims data.

The researchers observed high agreement between the four prognostic tools, with Pearson correlation coefficients varying from 0.63 to 0.90 for short-term and 0.68 to 0.94 for long-term survival. In 96.4 percent of the sample, all four tools agreed when defining limited short-term life expectancy as less than 25 percent chance of surviving four or five years. In 77.1 percent of participants, all four tools agreed in their placement of participants into limited or not-limited long-term life expectancy (<25 percent chance of surviving nine or ten years). Regardless of the tool used, rates of cancer screening were similarly high in individuals with limited long-term life expectancy.

"There is substantial agreement among different prognostic tools for short- and long-term survival in Medicare beneficiaries," the authors write. "The high rates of cancer screening of individuals with limited life expectancy suggest the importance of incorporating tools into clinical decision-making."

One author disclosed financial ties to UpToDate.

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