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Racial disparities persist in the diagnosis of advanced breast cancer and colon cancer in the U.S.
Date:2/9/2010

ck women and 12 out of 100,000 white women.

The study also looked at rates of advanced-stage colorectal and prostate cancer in an attempt to deduce how screening practices may have impacted the magnitude of racial disparities in these malignancies during this 12-year period, an era of increased use of breast, colorectal and prostate cancer screening in the U.S.

For colorectal cancer, the researchers saw a widening of the racial disparity gap. Distant-stage incidence rates among non-Hispanic whites declined over time but increased somewhat among blacks. "It is possible that differing rates of colorectal endoscopy screening between African American and non-Hispanic whites could contribute to this widening disparity," said lead author Jean McDougall, M.P.H., a doctoral student in epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health.

The study looked at data from 8,920 people diagnosed with distant-stage colorectal cancer. Of these, 1,669 were black and 7,251 were white. The black colorectal cancer patients were slightly younger at diagnosis and were more likely to be female as compared to whites. The relative risk of advanced colorectal cancer was significantly elevated in blacks throughout the study period. In 1992, blacks were 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage colorectal cancer as compared to whites, and by 2004 that likelihood had doubled.

However, for prostate cancer, the disparity gap narrowed somewhat over time, as advanced-stage prostate cancer incidence rates declined for both black and non-Hispanic whites. The study included data from 2,801 men with late-stage cancer, 791 black and 2,010 white. The incidence of distant-stage prostate cancer among black men fell from 50 cases in 100,000 at the start of the study to 19.8 cases in 100,000 at the end of the data collection process. This level was still three times higher than that of white men, but it was a significant decline nonetheless.

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Contact: Kristen Woodward
kwoodwar@fhcrc.org
206-667-5095
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

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