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News from Cancer: Disparities in head and neck cancer patients
Date:10/5/2008

) and radiation (66 percent vs. 56 percent). However, even among patients who received surgery, African Americans had a shorter survival time than Caucasians.

When assessing socioeconomic status, the investigators found that patients living in communities with poverty levels exceeding 15 percent were diagnosed with head and neck cancer at a significantly younger age, more frequently diagnosed with advanced disease, and had lower average survival was lower across all age groups. Average survival time was significantly shorter in patients from the areas with the highest poverty rates irrespective of what type of therapy was received.

The authors conclude that racial disparities continue to exist in head and neck cancer survival. Socio-economic inequities are also evident in head and neck cancer survival, even when the poor receive treatment for their disease.

"Earlier diagnosis, particularly in those from low socio-economic status groups and amongst African American patients, is needed to improve outcomes," the authors wrote.


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Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
213-368-8523
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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