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Refusal of surgery and survival outcomes in endometrial cancer


Objectives The goal of this study was to determine the impact refusal of surgery has on overall survival in patients with endometrial cancer.

Methods From January 2004 to December 2015, the National Cancer Database was queried for patients with pathologically proven endometrial cancer who were recommended surgery and refused. Inverse probability of treatment weighting was used to account for differences in baseline characteristics between patients who underwent surgery and those who refused. Kaplan–Meier analyses and doubly robust estimation with multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling were used to analyze overall survival.

Results Of the 300 675 patients identified, 534 patients (0.2%) were recommended surgical treatment but refused: 18% (95/534) were age ≤40 years. The 5-year overall survival for all patients who refused surgery was significantly decreased compared with patients who underwent surgery (29.2% vs 71.9%, P<0.01). This was demonstrated at ages 41–64 years (65.5% vs 91.0%, P<0.01) and ≥65 years (23.4% vs 75.3%, P<0.01). The 5-year overall survival did not meet statistical significance at age ≤40 years (90.1% vs 87.8% P<0.19). However, there were few patients in this cohort. On multivariate analysis, factors associated with refusal of surgery included: Medicaid insurance, Black race, Hispanic Race, Charlson Comorbidity Index scores of 2 or greater, stage II or III, and if patient received external beam radiation therapy alone. Factors associated with undergoing surgery included: age greater than 41, stage IB, and if the patient received brachytherapy.

Conclusions Refusal of surgery for endometrial cancer is uncommon and leads to decreased overall survival.

  • surgery
  • endometrial neoplasms

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Data were obtained from the National Cancer Database.

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