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Medical News and Perspectives
March 15, 2006

Cancer Care Quality Assessed

JAMA. 2006;295(11):1238. doi:10.1001/jama.295.11.1238

The majority of patients with cancer are receiving high-quality care, although improvements are needed in certain areas, according to the first study on the quality of cancer care in the United States (Malin JL et al. J Clin Oncol. 2006;24:626-634).

The study, which identified and assessed adherence to more than 60 quality measures for breast and colorectal cancer, was initiated in response to a 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine's National Cancer Policy Board that recommended establishing a quality monitoring system and regular reporting on the quality of care for patients with cancer. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (Boston, Mass) and the RAND Corporation (Santa Monica, Calif) reviewed medical records and analyzed almost 1800 surveys given 4 years after diagnosis to 1287 patients with early-stage breast cancer and 478 patients with colorectal cancer who lived in five metropolitan areas (Atlanta, Cleveland, Houston, Kansas City, and Los Angeles).

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