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Delays in diagnosis worsen outlook for minority, uninsured pediatric retinoblastoma patients
Date:4/24/2013

examined by pathologists for signs that the tumors would metastasize.

"We correlated the demographic data with the results of the pathology exams to see if children with retinoblastoma who were non-white, Hispanic, or who did not have private health insurance were more likely to have disease invasiveness at diagnosis requiring chemotherapy in addition to surgery, a stage of disease that may carry a lower survival rate," Green said. "The answer was yes."

Of the factors most associated with invasive disease, Hispanic ethnicity had the greatest impact on risk, researchers found, raising the possibility that not speaking English as one's primary language poses a particular barrier to timely diagnosis and treatment.

"We now need to find out where in the diagnostic process the delays are occurring," said the senior author of the study, Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, MD, of DF/CHCC. "Is it because patients' families aren't familiar with the warning signs of the disease, because they have trouble getting to a primary care doctor or ophthalmologist for an exam, or some other factor? We hope to explore those questions in future studies."


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Contact: Irene Sege
irene.sege@childrens.harvard.edu
617-919-7379
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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