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Study quantifies racial disparities in cancer mortality rates between blacks and whites
Date:3/20/2009

parities between whites and blacks in stage at presentation and survival after diagnosis for breast cancer had a large impact on the racial gap in life expectancy.

"This argues for much more research and efforts to close the gap in breast cancer screening and treatment," Wong said.

The researchers analyzed data from the Surveillance and Epidemiology End Result (SEER) cancer registry and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Together, the data sets covered about 2.7 million white and 291,000 African American cancer patients from 12 geographic regions in the United States: San Francisco/Oakland, Connecticut, Detroit, Hawaii, Iowa, New Mexico, Seattle (Puget Sound), Utah, Atlanta, Alaska, San Jose/Monterey and Los Angeles.

Among the other findings:

  • Cancer incidence, stage at diagnosis and post-diagnosis survival accounted for 1.12, 0.17 and 0.21 years, respectively, in the life-expectancy disparity among men.
  • Among women, those categories accounted for 0.41, 0.26 and 0.31 years, respectively.
  • The difference in incidence of cancer had a greater impact on the racial gap in cancer mortality than did the stage at which the cancer was diagnosed.
  • The differences in post-diagnosis survival were significant with only two types of cancer: breast (0.14 years) and prostate (0.05 years).

"Continuing to improve cancer treatment and screening is undoubtedly important to improving life expectancy and quality of life for all adults, yet substantial disparities in cancer mortality will persist unless we can find ways to address the enormous impact of racial differences in cancer incidence," the researchers concluded.


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Contact: Enrique Rivero
erivero@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2273
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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