OBJECTIVE: To use a population-based approach to describe survival trends in patients diagnosed as having gastric or esophageal adenocarcinoma. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A population-based complete chart review of all inpatient and outpatient records, using the resources of the Rochester Epidemiology Project, was conducted in Olmsted County, Minnesota (population 124,277), a primarily rural county with one large urban area. All residents of Olmsted County who were diagnosed as having gastric or esophageal adenocarcinoma from January 1, 1971, through December 31, 2000, were included in the study. The main outcomes were median survival and 2-year and 5-year survival rates, by decade of diagnosis. RESULTS: From 1971 through 2000, median survival for patients with gastric adenocarcinoma (n=121) decreased from 5.5 months to 3.2 months, whereas median survival for patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma (n=65) increased from 8.5 months to 11.7 months. Decade of diagnosis was not significantly associated with patient survival for either gastric or esophageal adenocarcinoma (P>.05). There was no significant shift in stage of disease at diagnosis during the 30-year period for either gastric or esophageal adenocarcinoma (P>.05). CONCLUSION: No significant change has occurred in the survival rates of this patient population with gastric or esophageal adenocarcinoma, which is representative of the US white population.
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