Impact of Socio-economic Factors in Delayed Reporting and Late-stage Presentation among Patients with Cervix Cancer in a Major Cancer Hospital in South India


The impact of socio-economic and demographic status (SEDS) factors on the stage of cervical cance ratdiagnosis, symptom duration and delay-time from diagnosis to registration was determined by analysing datafor the year 2006 from the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC), Trivandrum, Kerala, India. Patients (n=349) wereincluded if they were from the states of Kerala or Tamil Nadu. SEDS factors included age, residing district,religion, marital status, income, education and occupation. Associations between SEDS factors by stage atdiagnosis and symptom duration were tested using chi-square statistics with odds ratios (OR) estimated throughlogistic regression modeling. Elevated risks for late stage reporting among cervical cancer patients were observedfor women who were widowed/divorced (OR=2.08; 95%CI: 1.24-3.50) and had a lower education (OR=2.62;95%CI:1.29-5.31 for women with primary school education only). Patients who had symptoms of bleeding/bleeding with other symptoms (77%) were more likely to seek treatment within one month, compared to patientswith other symptoms only (23%) (p=0.016). This analysis helped to identify populations at increased risk ofdiagnosis at later stages of cancer with the ultimate intent of providing health education and detecting cancer atearlier stages.