Linda C. Harlan, PhD; Limin X. Clegg, PhD; Joan L. Warren, PhD
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Harlan LC, Clegg LX, Warren JL. Chemotherapy in Women with Breast Cancer. Ann Intern Med. 2003;139:868. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-139-10-200311180-00025
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2003;139(10):868.
TO THE EDITOR:
Du and colleagues (1) used data from the New Mexico SEER tumor registry from 1991 to 1997 to assess use of chemotherapy among women with early-stage breast cancer. They concluded that there is a considerable discrepancy between the NIH Consensus Conference recommendations and community-based practice. However, much of this discrepancy may reflect low ascertainment of chemotherapy by the SEER registries.
Because the National Cancer Institute recognizes that chemotherapy is underreported in SEER data, it funds Patterns of Care (POC) studies, in which SEER registries verify with the treating physicians the chemotherapy provided for a sample of cases. In 1991 and 1995, the SEER registries, including the New Mexico Tumor Registry, conducted a POC study for women with early-stage breast cancer (2, 3). We used cases from the POC data to determine the sensitivity of the SEER data in capturing chemotherapy use. Sensitivity was defined as the number of women in the POC data who had a SEER record of chemotherapy divided by the total number of women identified as receiving chemotherapy from the POC data. Because the sample size from New Mexico alone was small, we used POC data from all registries to obtain stable estimates of sensitivity.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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