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Black Women, Uninsured Get Worse Ovarian Cancer Care: Study

TUESDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Women with ovarian cancer who are black, either uninsured or Medicare recipients, or who have annual incomes of less than $35,000 are more likely to receive poorer-quality care, a new study shows.

Researchers found these racial and socioeconomic disparities in ovarian cancer care also are associated with worse odds of surviving for five years after their cancer diagnosis.

The study examined more than 47,000 women treated for ovarian cancer between 1998 and 2002. Fewer than half of the women (44 percent) received treatment that fit within guidelines developed by a group of the top cancer centers in the world and recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Black women, women who were uninsured or on Medicare and women of lower socioeconomic status were less likely than other women to receive the recommended treatment.

But researchers noted racial disparities even among women who did receive the recommended care. Black women's five-year survival rate was 33 percent, compared to 41 percent among white women.

The study's authors said more research is needed to determine why black women have different outcomes even when they receive the same level of care.

The study was scheduled to be presented Tuesday during the Society of Gynecologic Oncology annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Conference of State Legislatures provides more information on disparities in health care.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: The Society of Gynecologic Oncology, news release, March 27, 2012

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