Previous studies have shown an association between cancer survival and socioeconomic status. In the United States Armed Forces, military rank is a measure of socioeconomic status. To determine whether an association exists between socioeconomic status (as measured by military rank) and prostate cancer, we carried out a retrospective review of the clinical data from 237 patients entered into the Tumor Registry. There was no statistically significant association between rank and the stage of disease at diagnosis or actual 5-year survival. In the military, health care is provided free of charge, independent of rank, and this study showed that when there is equal access to health care, socioeconomic status does not correlate with prostate cancer outcome. Future studies comparing outcomes of prostate cancer should control for accessibility to health care.
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