New analytical research into electronic health record data classification methods may hold the key for helping model prostate cancer survival rate predictions in the future.
Data Mining Your Way to Better Health
With the push to modernize medical record-keeping, the majority of patient records have moved into the digital realm. Electronic health record systems have made it easier for doctors to track patient data, leading to better overall care. However, new research being done regarding the analysis of electronic patient health records may hold the key to unlocking survival rates for prostate cancer patients in the future.
That’s what a new study on the subject, recently published in the journal JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics, claims to have uncovered. Researchers say that examining the claims in the electronic health records of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer have yielded enough pattern data to provide crucial life expectancy modeling data that can help inform treatment methods.
Involving information taken from 57,000 patients diagnosed with prostate cancer and nearly 9,000 claims, the study found that taking all this data together can be used to calculate survivability and risk by taking the patient’s overall health and age into account.
Benefits of Such a System
Combining this much data together and analyzing it towards revealing overall risk has a number of possible benefits. The most straightforward of these is determining whether a patient would benefit from specific prostate cancer treatments or not based on their overall survivability.
As prostate cancer routinely strikes older men, successful treatment in many instances involves slowing the progression of the disease enough to provide a better quality of life rather than taking more drastic steps like surgery. This makes the goal with older patients to die with prostate cancer, not from prostate cancer.
Meanwhile, in younger male populations or those that score higher on overall survivability, more aggressive cancer treatments are often recommended. This makes identifying overall risk and survivability an invaluable tool for selecting the best treatment methods for specific patients according to their needs — and this is what makes this research study and its results so promising.