The information on ambulatory care in Tables 4-1 to 4-4, 4-6, and 4-7 comes from two large population-based surveys conducted by the National Centers for Health Statistics, the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) and the National Hospital Ambulatory Care Survey (NHAMCS). Two years (2001 and 2002) of data from both surveys were combined to yield sufficient sample sizes for cancer site-specific estimates. Information on 3,773 cancer-related ambulatory care visits was available from the 2001 and 2002 NAMCS and NHAMCS. Cancer-related visits are those for which cancer was recorded as the first, second, or third diagnosis associated with the visit according to the International Classification of Diseases (Clinical Modification), Ninth Edition (ICD-9-CM). Cancer-related visits were those where the reason for the visit was coded for history of cancer (V10) and malignant neoplasms (ICD-9 code 140 to 208, but excluding skin, nonmelanoma ). All numbers and percentages presented in tables are adjusted using sampling weights to produce national estimates.
NAMCS is a national probability sample survey of visits to office-based physicians. In 2001, information on 24,281 patient visits was received from the 1,230 physicians who participated in NAMCS (64 percent response rate). In 2002, information on 28,738 patient visits was received from 1,474 physicians (70 percent response rate). For each participating physician, a random sample of visits was obtained during a 1-week period. In the tables describing type of physician, “oncology” includes medical oncology and hematology/oncology; “primary care” includes family practice, internal medicine, and general practice; “specialty surgery” includes the following surgical specialties: orthopedic, plastic, vascular, neurological, thoracic, colorectal, and head and neck. “Other medical specialty” includes obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, cardiovascular diseases, psychiatry, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, hematology, pulmonary disease, and others. Estimates of cancer-related ambulatory care are somewhat hampered by the exclusion of radiologists from the sampling frame of office-based providers.
NHAMCS provides information on ambulatory care provided in hospital outpatient departments. In 2001, information on 33,567 patient visits