Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Minorities, poor have more advanced thyroid cancers when diagnosed

Date:
January 9, 2014
Source:
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences
Summary:
Researchers have found that minority patients and those of lower socioeconomic status are far more likely to have advanced thyroid cancer when they are diagnosed with the disease than white patients and those in higher economic brackets. In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, the team looked at nearly 26,000 patients with well-differentiated thyroid cancer and analyzed the impact of race and socioeconomic factors on the stage of presentation, as well as patient survival rates.

UCLA researchers have found that minority patients and those of lower socioeconomic status are far more likely to have advanced thyroid cancer when they are diagnosed with the disease than white patients and those in higher economic brackets.

In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, the UCLA team looked at nearly 26,000 patients with well-differentiated thyroid cancer and analyzed the impact of race and socioeconomic factors on the stage of presentation, as well as patient survival rates.

Their findings are published in the January issue of the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

"Race, social status, wealth and health insurance coverage make a difference in how far a thyroid cancer has advanced by the time a patient first sees a doctor," said lead study author Dr. Avital Harari, an assistant professor of general surgery in the endocrine surgery unit at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Researchers hope the study will lead to strategies aimed at increasing access to health care and help make doctors who treat thyroid cancer patients more aware of how aggressive this cancer can be in certain socioeconomic and racial groups.

"We hope our work highlights the importance of developing interventions that will lead to equalization of care, better preventative practices and earlier treatments," Harari said.

Although the overall incidence of thyroid cancer is low compared with other cancers, it has been rising in recent decades. The increase cannot fully be explained by improved diagnostics or earlier identification of the disease in patients, Harari said. Advanced thyroid cancers are generally very treatable, but some may have a heightened morbidity and mortality risk, especially if the cancer has spread beyond the thyroid.   While previous studies have shown that exposure to radiation, family history and an underactive thyroid are known risk factors for thyroid cancer, the UCLA team was interested in finding other factors that may be contributing to both the increase in this cancer and the presentation of the disease in its advanced stages.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on 25,945 patients with advanced thyroid cancer disease from the California Cancer Registry between the years of 1999 and 2008. The majority of patients, 14,802 (57 percent), were white; 6,303 (24 percent) were Hispanic; 3,901 (15 percent) were of Asian/Pacific Islander descent; and 939 (4 percent) were black.

Patients with low socioeconomic status in all racial groups had more advanced disease than those with higher incomes. Black patients consistently presented with later stages of disease and had worse survival rates than any other racial group.

Even after adjusting for age, sex, socioeconomics and type of health insurance, minority groups continued to have higher odds of presenting with more advanced disease than whites.

Surprisingly, Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander patients seem to survive longer than others, even when presenting with later stages of disease. More study in this area is needed to better understand this protective benefit in certain races, said Harari, who noted that it could be a difference in tumor biology or perhaps genetic variances.

Patients who were poor and uninsured or who had Medicaid had higher odds of presenting with metastatic disease than patients with private health insurance, the researchers found.

This study adds to previous research by the UCLA team that found that obesity increased the odds of developing advanced thyroid cancer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. The original article was written by Rachel Champeau. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Harari, N. Li, M. Yeh. Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities in Presentation and Outcomes of Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2013; DOI: 10.1210/jc.2013-2781

Cite This Page:

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "Minorities, poor have more advanced thyroid cancers when diagnosed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109132142.htm>.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. (2014, January 9). Minorities, poor have more advanced thyroid cancers when diagnosed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109132142.htm
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "Minorities, poor have more advanced thyroid cancers when diagnosed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109132142.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
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