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Ethnic discrepancy in ovarian cancer

Researchers at the University of Texas in US have found that African American women with ovarian cancer have a worse outcome than Caucasian women.// Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive organs. It is now obvious that ethnicity is an independent risk factor in prognosis. US researchers have studied the fate of 10,003 Caucasian women and 600 African American women with ovarian cancer. They find that the mean age at diagnosis was 62 years for African Americans, and 60 for Caucasians. In the African women, the cancer was more likely to be advanced by the stage of diagnosis, and they were less likely to undergo surgery.

So it is perhaps unsurprising that the survival rate among African American women is lower. They survive, on average, for 22 months after diagnosis, while the survival time for Caucasian women is 32 months. Obviously ovarian cancer is life-threatening for any woman - but it's a big concern when it's more of a threat to one ethnic group over another. The reasons why African Americans are more at risk is unclear, but at least highlighting the difference provides a stimulus to future research.


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