Objective: Increasing numbers of endometrial cancer survivors place a high burden on the health care system. This study describes the number of visits to the general practitioner, the medical specialist and other care services, compared with the general population, and factors associated with this health care use: age, marital status, education, body mass index, comorbidity, years since diagnosis, and radiotherapy.
Methods: Survivors of stage I to stage II endometrial cancer diagnosed between 1999 and 2007 were selected from the Eindhoven Cancer Registry. Survivors (N = 742) completed a questionnaire about their demographic characteristics and health care use. Cancer-related information was retrieved from the Eindhoven Cancer Registry.
Results: Endometrial cancer survivors visited their medical specialist more often (3.4 times per year) than the general population. In relation to their cancer, they visited their general practitioner once and their medical specialist twice per year. Use of additional care services was low (14%) but higher among younger survivors (33%). Younger women were more likely to make cancer-related visits to their general practitioner, whereas more highly educated women were less likely to visit their general practitioner and more likely to make cancer-related medical specialist visits. Women with more comorbid conditions were more likely to make general and cancer-related general practitioner visits. Radiotherapy and body mass index were not related to health care use.
Conclusions: Endometrial cancer survivors use more health care than women in the general population. Younger women visit their general practitioner more often in relation to their cancer and use more additional care services. More highly educated survivors were more likely to visit a medical specialist in relation to their cancer.
*Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic Diseases (CoRPS), Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Tilburg University, The Netherlands; †Eindhoven Cancer Registry, Comprehensive Cancer Center South (CCCS), Eindhoven, The Netherlands; ‡Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, TweeSteden Hospital, Tilburg and Waalwijk, The Netherlands; and §Department of Radiotherapy, Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Nicole P.M. Ezendam, PhD, Comprehensive Cancer Center South, Zernikestraat 29, 5600 AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The data collection of this study was funded by the Comprehensive Cancer Centre South, Eindhoven, The Netherlands and an investment grant of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO #480-08-009), The Hague, The Netherlands.
NPM Ezendam and KAH Nicolaije are supported by a grant from the Dutch Cancer Society, and LV van de Poll-Franse is supported by a Cancer Research Award from the Dutch Cancer Society (#UVT-2009-4349). The remaining authors declare no conflicts of interest.
The funding sources had no involvement in the study design, the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, the writing of the manuscript, and the decision to submit the paper for publication.
Received April 22, 2013
Accepted May 28, 2013