Navigation Links
Study finds racial disparities exist in radiation therapy rates for early stage breast cancer
Date:12/14/2009

HOUSTON - Black women are less likely than white women to receive radiation therapy after a lumpectomy, the standard of care for early stage breast cancer, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The largest of its kind and the first to examine such racial disparities in radiation therapy, the study was published today in Cancer. It was first presented at the 2008 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Breast Cancer Symposium.

Led by Grace Li Smith, M.D., Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in M. D. Anderson's Department of Radiation Oncology, the researchers reviewed the Medicare records of more than 37,000 patients diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in 2003.

"Although there have been smaller studies of racial disparities in breast cancer care, no prior research has examined the differences across the nation in the rates of radiation therapy after lumpectomy between whites and blacks," said Smith, the study's first author. "The national Medicare database, because it's so comprehensive, allowed us to determine the extent to which racial disparities in radiation therapy affected patients across the country."

For the retrospective cohort study, Smith and her M. D. Anderson colleagues used Medicare claims to examine the treatment history of women aged 66 and older diagnosed in 2003 with early stage, newly diagnosed breast cancer. Of the 37,305 women who underwent a lumpectomy for their breast cancer, 34,024 were white and 2,305 were black. Overall, 74 percent of the white women received radiation therapy after their lumpectomy; in contrast, 65 percent of the black breast cancer patients received the same treatment.

"The use of radiation after lumpectomy is considered to be the standard of care for women with invasive breast cancer, as clinical trials have demonstrated that it both reduces the chance of recurrence and improves the chance of survival," said Thomas Buchholz, M.D., professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology and the study's senior author. "While there are some breast cancer patients, such as those over age 70, with significant co-morbidities for whom radiation would not be appropriate, this discrepancy remained consistent when specifically looking at patients under the age of 70."

Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of the study, said Smith, was the magnitude of the disparity in specific areas of the country: the Pacific West, 72 (whites) vs. 55 percent (blacks); East South Central, 72 (whites) vs. 57 percent (blacks), and the Northeast, 70 (whites) vs. 58 percent (blacks).

However, in some parts of the country - the Mountain West (76 percent vs. 74 percent) and the North Central Midwest (74 percent vs. 72 percent) - there was virtually no discrepancy in radiation rates between whites and blacks. That level of geographic non-disparity was also surprising and of great benefit for further research, said Smith.

"Until further research is conducted, we may only speculate about the underlying reasons why black and white women are not receiving radiation at the same rate. We don't know if fewer black women are receiving radiation simply because it is not offered to them, because they decline the treatment, or perhaps because they are unable to complete a whole course of treatment due to other health problems. These questions will be important subjects of future study. As a medical community, we need to identify and eliminate any obstacle prohibiting all women from receiving necessary care for their breast cancer."

Smith's plans for follow up research include evaluating the difference in radiation rates results in a difference in mortality. She also plans to investigate whether radiation patterns correlate with other illnesses secondary to breast cancer care, and if there are disparities in other types of cancer treatment.

Smith hopes that results from the study may prompt physicians and patients to work together to overcome some of the barriers to treatment.

"Physicians may be able to help patients identify specific barriers to their care and may be able to be influential in helping patients overcome such obstacles," said Smith. "Or, if there are concerns or misconceptions about radiation treatment, patients themselves may play a role by becoming educated about the value of radiation after lumpectomy and helping to disseminate this information into their communities."


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
713-745-2457
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. M. D. Anderson study questions true favorability of rare breast cancer type
2. Study shows how gene action may lead to diabetes prevention, cure
3. Casual Sex Doesnt Cause Emotional Damage: Study
4. Study Finds Possible Explanation for the Link Between Infertility and Breast/Ovarian Cancer Risks
5. Definitive study confirms chemo benefit in postmenopausal breast cancer
6. Major New Study Finds Soyfoods Safe and Beneficial for Women With Breast Cancer
7. New approach to emissions makes climate and air quality models more accurate, major study finds
8. Study highlights lack of patient knowledge regarding hospital medications
9. Sticks and stones break bones, but this UH study may prevent it
10. Study finds gender gap persists in cardiac care
11. American adults receiving flu vaccine at about the same rate as in 2008, study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... The International Association of Eating Disorders ... for the field of eating disorders, announces the opening of early registration for ... Florida at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. , The annual iaedp™ ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in ... the facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab ... City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Milford, NJ (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... weekend at scenic Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by ... and physical activity. The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the ... save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission ... of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and operators ... location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of 2018. ... in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both Covington ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... , Sept. 28, 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, ... 2017 earnings conference call and webcast on Friday, November ... a.m. (EDT) and ending at approximately 8:30 a.m. (CDT) ... discussing the company,s 2017 financial performance and guidance for ... opportunities, initiatives to enhance operational performance, and long-range financial ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... and NEW YORK , Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth ... and big data solutions, today announced that its MyDario product is expected ... local TV listings for when The Dr. Oz Show airs in your ... The nine-time Emmy ... ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... Sept. 22, 2017 Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) ... letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ... sirukumab for the treatment of moderately to severely active ... clinical data are needed to further evaluate the safety ... active RA. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: