See What HealthDay Can Do For You
Contact Us

Place of Service May Affect Racial Disparities in Cancer Deaths

Risk of death similar for African-Americans, Caucasians if they go to designated cancer center

TUESDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although elderly African-American cancer patients have a higher risk of death than elderly Caucasian cancer patients, the differences disappear among those who are treated at a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center, according to a retrospective analysis published online March 22 in Cancer.

Tracy Onega, Ph.D., from Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, N.H., and colleagues retrospectively compared mortality among 201,305 elderly African-American (8.9 percent of patients) and Caucasian patients with lung, breast, colorectal or prostate cancer based on whether they go to an NCI-designated comprehensive or clinical cancer center.

The researchers found that elderly African-Americans had higher all-cause and cancer-specific mortality at one year (odds ratio, 1.13) and three years (odds ratio, 1.23) after diagnosis. However, African-Americans at an NCI-designated cancer center had a lower risk of death at one year (odds ratio, 0.63) and three years (odds ratio, 0.71). African-Americans who went to NCI-designated cancer centers had a similar risk of all-cause and cancer-specific mortality as Caucasians.

"African-American Medicare beneficiaries with lung, breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers had higher mortality compared with their Caucasian counterparts; however, there were no significant differences in mortality by race among those who attended NCI cancer centers," Onega and colleagues conclude.

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Physician's Briefing