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Primary Urethral Cancer More Prevalent in Men

Twice as many blacks develop the rare cancer as whites

TUESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- More men than women develop primary urethral carcinoma, a rare cancer that also affects more blacks than whites, researchers report in the December issue of Urology.

Mia A. Swartz, M.D., of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and colleagues identified primary urethral cancer and calculated the incidence of cancer subtypes in 540 affected women and 1,075 men who were diagnosed between 1973 and 2002. The patients were from nine geographic segments, representing 10 percent of the U.S. population.

The researchers found that the annual incidence of primary urethral cancer was 4.3 per million for men and 1.5 per million for women. This went up with age, culminating at 9.5 per million in women and 32 per million in men aged 75 to 84. The incidence of 2.5 per million for whites was half the 5 per million for blacks.

Some 55 percent of patients had transitional cell carcinoma, 21.5 percent had squamous cell carcinoma, and 16.4 percent had adenocarcinoma, varying with sex and race, the report indicates.

"In the United States, the incidence of urethral carcinoma is relatively higher in men and African Americans, with a histologic profile differing from that previously described," the authors write.

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