"I was surprised to find that recognized factors like a delay in diagnosis explain only part of the difference. There are clearly other important factors at work that make these patients more likely to die from the disease. There could be something different about the cancer itself, or there could be differences in the ways these groups are treated," said Messing, who is professor of Urology and Oncology as well as leader of the Prostate Cancer and Genitourinary Oncology team at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center.
To do the study, scientists analyzed the records of more than 100,000 patients who were diagnosed with bladder cancer from 1990 to 2003. Their records are part of a national cancer registry known as SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results). The 101,249 patients came from 16 different regions: Atlanta, rural Georgia, Connecticut, Detroit, Seattle, Hawaii, Iowa, New Mexico, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, rural California, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Utah.
The statistical analysis was done by first author Emil Scosyrev, a graduate student in epidemiology; Katia Noyes, Ph.D., associate professor of Community and Preventive Medicine; and Changyong Feng, Ph.D., assistant professor of Computational Biology and Biostatistics. The work was funded by the Ashley Family Foundation.
The team found that in the first year after diagnosis, women were anywhere from about 80 percent to 114 percent more likely to die from the disease than their male counterparts. That increase was a bit lower in year two, when women were about 52 to 55 percent more likely to die.
When it came to race, the researchers found that African-Americans were about 73 percent to 103 percent more likely than their white counterparts to die from the disease within the first two years af
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