Insurance Status and Travel Distance to Single Treatment Facility Predictive of Mastectomy

Kelly A. Stahl, Daleela Dodge, Elizabeth J. Olecki, Rolfy Perez Holguin, Christopher McLaughlin, William Wong, Chan Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We evaluated the impact of insurance status and travel distance on the receipt of total mastectomy without reconstruction (TM) compared to breast conserving surgery with radiation (BCT) for early-stage breast cancer (BC) patients who received care at a single facility. We hypothesized that, lack of insurance and increased travel distance would be predictive of TM over BCT and disparities would vary by different races and/or ethnicities. Methods: Using the National Cancer Database from 2010-2017, we examined surgical patients with stage I or II BC, who received care at one facility. Chi-square tests examined subgroup differences by BCT or TM. Multivariable logistic regressions evaluated patient, facility, and pathologic factors associated with the receipt of TM over BCT for the entire cohort and by races and/or ethnicities. Results: Of the 284,202 patients, 70.1% received BCT while 29.9% received TM. After adjustment travel distance > 60 miles to a treatment facility, and non–insured patients were more likely to receive TM over BCT, when compared to travel distance < 20 miles and private insurance (all P < 0.05). Compared to other races and/or ethnicities, African Americans traveling > 60 miles were 65.4% more likely to receive TM over BCT compared to those traveling < 20 miles (P < .0001). Across all races and/or ethnicities after adjustment, lack of insurance was predictive for receipt of TM over BCT (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Despite treatment at one facility, increased travel distance and insurance status are independently predictive of the receipt of TM over BCT in patients with early-stage BC. While travel distance is particularly impactful for African Americans, the impact of not having insurance on surgical treatments is universal across all races and/or ethnicities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Feb 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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