Distance to the closest radiotherapy facility and survival after a diagnosis of rectal cancer in Queensland

Sean A Bydder and Nigel A Spry
Med J Aust 2011; 195 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja11.11271
Published online: 12 December 2011

To the Editor: We find ourselves in the curious position of criticising an article that supports improving access to radiotherapy. Baade and colleagues looked at cause-specific survival in all patients aged 20–79 years diagnosed with rectal cancer in Queensland.1 They found a 6% increase in cause-specific mortality risk for each 100 km increment in distance from the nearest radiotherapy facility. They concluded that the apparent poorer outcomes were due to a failure to receive radiotherapy.

  • Sean A Bydder
  • Nigel A Spry

  • Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, WA.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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