African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer, and minorities in general do not receive the best treatment for the disease compared with white women, according to two studies published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Researchers found that African American women, even after adjusting for socioeconomic differences, are 19 percent more likely than white women to die of breast cancer, said lead author Dr. Lisa Newman, Director of the Breast Care Center at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
A second study found that women in minority groups, including Hispanics, are half as likely to receive complete follow-up treatment for the disease.
“Our research underscores the need to investigate the role of biologic, genetic, and sociocultural factors in breast cancer mortality among black women,” Newman added.
The second study, conducted at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, found that, compared with white women, minority women with early-stage breast cancer had twice the risk not undergoing radiation, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy following breast cancer surgery.
“We found that one in three black women and nearly one in four Hispanic women fail to receive the necessary adjuvant therapy,” said Dr. Nina Bickell, associate professor of health policy and medicine at Mount Sinai and lead author.
The likelihood of not getting proper follow-up treatment among whites was 16 percent, much lower than the 23 percent for Hispanics and 34 percent among blacks.
This study also controlled for clinical, demographic and treatment access factors, including the presence of other illnesses and whether or not a woman was covered by health insurance.
Researchers found that women from minority groups were more likely to have other illnesses and have less insurance than white women, suggesting that these factors could influence a physician’s decision to prescribe treatment and a patient’s ability to actually receive treatment.
“Significant progress can be made toward reducing racial disparities in cancer death by eliminating the disparities in breast cancer treatment,” Bickell said.
- « Breast Cancer :: MRI Being Used to Detect Breast Cancer
- Breast cancer
- Folate :: Dietary folate may lower pancreatic cancer risk »
Sub-editorBreast Cancer :: Breast cancer higher among black women
by Sub-editor ( Author at Spirit India )
Posted on March 23rd, 2006 at 1:19 pm.
Find more from SpiritIndia on: Breast cancer