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Study of neighborhoods points to modifiable factors, not race, in cancer disparities
Date:4/12/2009

ienced significantly higher survival rates for prostate and breast cancer compared with blacks throughout much of southern Michigan when large geographic regions were analyzed. However, when the investigators analyzed smaller geographic regions, such as legislative districts and community-defined neighborhoods, disparities diminished or virtually disappeared.

"When racial disparities vanish in small geographic areas, it suggests that modifiable factors are responsible for apparent racial disparities observed at larger geographic scales," the authors write. These modifiable factors could include socioeconomic factors, differences in tumor stage, differences in treatment and the presence of additional health conditions. It is unclear which of these are important, but this study's findings suggest that genetic factors are not likely to play a large role in disparities of survival from prostate and breast cancer.


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Contact: Claire Greenwell
claire.greenwell@cancer.org
404-417-5883
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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