Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blacks have less access to cancer specialists, treatment

Date:
November 19, 2013
Source:
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences
Summary:
Researchers say metastatic colorectal cancer patients of African-American descent are less likely to be seen by cancer specialists or receive cancer treatments. This difference in treatment explains a large part of the 15 percent higher mortality experienced by African-American patients than non-Hispanic white patients.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say metastatic colorectal cancer patients of African-American descent are less likely to be seen by cancer specialists or receive cancer treatments. This difference in treatment explains a large part of the 15 percent higher mortality experienced by African-American patients than non-Hispanic white patients.

The study, published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, noted there was no difference in risk of death when black patients received the same treatments, such as chemotherapy and surgery, as non-Hispanic white patients.

"Other studies have looked at racial disparities in treatment and still others have focused on racial differences in survival rates of cancer patients, but our research attempted to go further by demonstrating the impact of race-based inequalities in cancer treatment on survival rates of black colorectal cancer patients," said James D. Murphy, MD, MS, assistant professor and chief of the Radiation Oncology Gastrointestinal Tumor Service at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

The researchers analyzed data from 11,216 patients over the age of 66 with stage IV colorectal cancer from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database. The analysis compared patient consultation rates with cancer specialists as well as treatment with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy for white and black patients.

Despite screening efforts and improvements in treatment, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society, with approximately 50,000 deaths annually. This disease disproportionally affects black patients, with higher incidence rates, more advanced stage at diagnosis and decreased survival rates compared to other ethnic groups.

The study concluded that black patients were 10 percent less likely to have primary tumor surgery, 17 percent less likely to receive chemotherapy and 30 percent less likely to receive radiotherapy. Among patients who received chemotherapy, white patients were more likely to receive more than one chemotherapy agent. The researchers noted that black patients typically received chemotherapy four days later than white patients. Chemotherapy was associated with a 66 percent decreased risk of death.

"Of note, our analysis found that 47 percent of the relative survival difference between black and white patients was attributable to treatment differences and, after accounting for these treatment differences, the race-based survival difference completely disappeared," wrote the study authors.

The study did not ascribe a specific cause for the racial disparities but offered six possible explanations: conscious or unconscious provider biases; patient mistrust; health literacy; patient-physician communication breakdown; healthcare access barriers; and/or race-based differences in disease biology.

"Further studies may answer the important question of why there are racial disparities in consults with cancer specialists and treatment among this population. The answers may lead to areas we can improve upon to close these gaps," said Murphy. "I suspect that this pattern of disparity could be present in other underserved minority groups as well."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. R. Simpson, M. E. Martinez, S. Gupta, J. Hattangadi-Gluth, L. K. Mell, G. Heestand, P. Fanta, S. Ramamoorthy, Q.-T. Le, J. D. Murphy. Racial Disparity in Consultation, Treatment, and the Impact on Survival in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2013; DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djt318

Cite This Page:

University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Blacks have less access to cancer specialists, treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119141947.htm>.
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. (2013, November 19). Blacks have less access to cancer specialists, treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119141947.htm
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Blacks have less access to cancer specialists, treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119141947.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins