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Race could be a factor in head and neck cancer survival rates, MU researchers find
Date:6/5/2014

acific Islanders, and 50.2 percent survival for Asian-Indian and Alaskan natives.

"One commonly held theory is that socioeconomic status, access to health care and the stage in which the cancer is diagnosed all play a major role in the survival rates of African-Americans with head and neck cancer," Raza said. "However, these factors are not completely accurate predictors of a patient's prognosis."

Raza said the treatment for head and neck cancer depends on the location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, and the patient's age and overall health. Treatments can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy or a combination of treatment options.

The researchers suggest that inherent genetic factors in African-Americans may make some tumors resistant to treatments. However, more research needs to be done on the subject of survival disparity in patients with head and neck cancer.

"This research shows there is an urgent need for a national trial on head and neck cancer within the African-American community to evaluate new forms of treatment and biogenetic markers to learn why this ethnic group has decreased survival rates," Raza said.


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Contact: Derek Thompson
thompsonder@health.missouri.edu
573-882-3323
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

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