At Martha Jefferson Hospital, patients diagnosed with cancer between 1998 and 2002, the most recent date for which information is available, enjoyed a favorable five-year survival compared to national statistics. According to the data retrieved from the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), we compared positively to: the national average, the average for other comprehensive community cancer centers, and teaching research hospitals (figure 1) for the top six cancer sites most frequently treated here. A stage-by-stage comparison was also favorable as represented below for our top three sites of breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer (figures 2, 3, and 4). Data is not available from the NCDB at all stages, as the numbers diagnosed were not high enough to be statistically significant. However, the data from each stage was included in the overall survival rates.
There are many factors that could figure into the excellent survival outcomes, including the teamwork of our cancer specialists, as is evident in our percentage of multi-modality treatments (figure 5) and the early and appropriate screening and diagnosis coordinated by our primary care physicians. Other factors could include the educational level of our primary population, as well as the level of warmth and compassionate care patients experience within the Martha Jefferson system. Whatever the reason, the statistics should reassure the public that if they come to this community hospital, they will receive the comprehensive level of treatment they need and deserve.
Our patient satisfaction is evident by the high percentage of patients (figure 6) who are initially diagnosed at Martha Jefferson Hospital and choose to have all or part of their treatment here.