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Risk of death after cancer diagnosis; shift in stage of breast cancer diagnosis
Date:6/22/2008

EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 AM ET MONDAY JUNE 23, 2008

LOW SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS INCREASES RISK OF DEATH AFTER CANCER DIAGNOSIS

Cancer patients with low socioeconomic status (SES) have more advanced cancers at diagnosis, receive less aggressive treatment, and have a higher risk of dying in the five years following cancer diagnosis, according to a new study. The study, which will appear in the August 1, 2008 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, supports the need to focus on SES as an underlying factor in cancer disparities by race and ethnicity.

Racial and ethnic disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and in risk of death after cancer have been documented by many studies. But the role that socioeconomic status might play, in addition to race and ethnicity, has been less well-studied

To explore the association between SES and mortality, Tim Byers, M.D. of the University of Colorado Denver and colleagues from seven states conducted the Breast, Colon, and Prostate Cancer Data Quality and Patterns of Care (POC) Study, a collaborative inquiry by seven state cancer registries within the National Program of Cancer Registries. The researchers documented compete information on cancer stage, treatment received, and 5-year mortality rates from multiple medical record sources for 13,598 cancer cases diagnosed in seven states in 1997, including 4,844 women with breast cancer, 4,332 men with prostate cancer, and 4,422 men and women with colorectal cancer. They also determined the socioeconomic status of the neighborhood of each patient by using the neighborhood-specific income and education data from the 2000 U.S. census.

Their analysis revealed that for all three types of cancers, individuals of low socioeconomic status had more advanced stages of cancer and received less aggressive treatment. For example, women of low socioeconomic status were less likely to receive rad
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Contact: Claire Greenwell
claire.greenwell@cancer.org
404-417-5883
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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