Purpose: Patients may transfer of hospital for clinical reasons but this may delay time to treatment. The purpose of this study is to provide insight in the extent of hospital transfer in breast cancer care; which type of patients transfer and what is the impact on time to treatment.
Methods: We included 41,413 breast cancer patients registered in the Netherlands Cancer Registry between 2014 and 2016. We investigated transfer of hospital between diagnosis and first treatment being surgery or neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). Co-variate adjusted characteristics predictive for hospital transfer were determined. To adjust for possible treatment by indication bias we used propensity score matching (PSM). Time to treatment in patients with and without hospital transfer was compared.
Results: Among 41,413 patients, 8.5% of all patients transferred to another hospital between diagnosis and first treatment; 4.9% before primary surgery and 24.8% before NAC. Especially young (aged
Conclusions: While almost 5% of Dutch patients treated with primary surgery transfer hospital after diagnosis and up to 25% for patients treated with NAC, our findings suggest that especially those treated with primary surgery are at risk for additional treatment delay by hospital transfer. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd.