The continuum of breast cancer care and outcomes in the U.S. Military Health System: an analysis by benefit type and care source

Yvonne L. Eaglehouse, Stephanie Shao, Wenyaw Chan, Derek Brown, Janna Manjelievskaia, Craig D. Shriver, Kangmin Zhu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study investigates transition rates between breast cancer diagnosis, recurrence, and death by insurance benefit type and care source in U.S. Military Health System (MHS). Methods: The MHS data repository and central cancer registry linked data were used to identify women aged 40–64 with histologically confirmed breast cancer between 2003 and 2007. Three-state continuous time Markov models were used to estimate transition rates and transition rate ratios (TRRs) by TRICARE benefit type (Prime or non-Prime) and care source (direct, purchased, or both), adjusted for demographic, tumor, and treatment variables. Results: Analyses included 2668 women with transitions from diagnosis to recurrence (n = 832), recurrence to death (n = 79), and diagnosis to death without recurrence (n = 91). Compared to women with Prime within each care source, women with non-Prime using both care sources had higher transition rates (TRR 1.47, 95% CI 1.03, 2.10). Compared to those using direct care within each benefit type, women utilizing both care sources with non-Prime had higher transition rates (TRR 1.86, 95% CI 1.11, 3.13), while women with Prime utilizing purchased care had lower transition rates (TRR 0.82, 95% CI 0.68, 0.98). Conclusions: In the MHS, women with non-Prime benefit plans compared to Prime had higher transition rates along the breast cancer continuum among both care source users. Purchased care users had lower transition rates than direct care users among Prime beneficiaries. Implications for Cancer Survivors: Benefit plan and care source may be associated with breast cancer progression. Further research is needed to demonstrate differences in survivorship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-416
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Health services
  • Insurance
  • Recurrence
  • Survival


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