(Reuters Health) – Whether it's colon cancer, breast cancer or ovarian cancer, survival rates in the US UU They are inferior for black people than for white people, according to three new studies.
All three were published in the journal Cancer. In one, Dr. Arica White of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and her team analyzed colon cancer survival rates in 2001-2003 and 2004-2009.
Overall, the proportion of patients alive five years after diagnosis improved slightly between those two periods, from 63.7 percent to 64.6 percent. But five-year survival was lower among blacks (54.7 percent in 2001-2003 and 56.6 percent in 2004-2009) than among whites (64.5 percent and 65.4 percent, respectively).
In addition, survival rates among blacks diagnosed in 2004- Survival levels of colon and rectal patients decreased over time, while black men and women continue to have a lower survival than those of black men. men and women of white race. and survival varied by state, "White told Reuters Health by e-mail." This suggests that access and / or use of screening and treatment services varies by race and location. We need constant efforts to ensure that high quality examinations and treatment services are available and universally used. "
" Screening for colorectal cancer is one of the most effective preventive services available, "he said. All eligible adults will talk with their doctor about which test is right for them, and do not postpone it if they are between 50 and 75 years old. Screening can reduce the number of people diagnosed at a late stage, which means that the treatment will be more effective and survival will increase. "
The results were similar when Dr. Jacqueline W. Miller of the CDC and her colleagues studied the survival of breast cancer almost 1.4 million women diagnosed between 2001 and 2009 in 37 states.
Throughout this period, the survival of breast cancer in black women was more than 10 percentage points lower In the later period (2004-2009), for example, five-year survival was 89.6 percent for white women versus 78.4 percent for black women.
Black women were 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed after breast cancer had already spread to other parts of their body.
"Although there will be some racial disparities due to differences in tumor types, improving early diagnosis and providing a specific treatment based on tumor characteristics in a timely manner would reduce disparities in breast cancer, Miller said by email
"The key to improving survival is the early detection and appropriate treatment, "Miller added. "The CDC National Early Detection Program for Breast and Cervical Cancer (NBCCEDP) provides low-income women without health insurance and without access to timely detection services and diagnostic services for breast and cervical cancer Currently, the NBCCEDP funds all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 6 US territories, and 13 tribes and tribal organizations of Native American / Alaska Natives to provide breast and cervical cancer screening services. "
In the third study, the CDC Dr. Sherri L. Stewart and her team examined racial disparities in ovarian cancer survival.
Between 2001 and 2009, ovarian cancer was much more common among white women than among black women. More than half of the cases were diagnosed after the spread of the cancer.
Five-year survival was at least 10 percent lower in black women than in white women throughout this period. (In 2004-2009, only 31 percent of black women survived for five years, compared to 42 percent of white women).
"Recognizing the early symptoms of ovarian cancer and seeking timely care can help detect cancer at an earlier stage, where treatment is likely to be more effective," Stewart told Reuters Health by e-mail. "Symptoms, such as abdominal and back pain, feeling full quickly after eating and urinating frequently, often occur among women with ovarian cancer Women should talk to their doctors if they experience any of these symptoms for two weeks or more and the symptoms persist or worsen ".
Dr. Michele L. Cote of the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Population and Disparities Science Research Program at the Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, Michigan, has also examined the disparities in ovarian cancer. She told Reuters Health by e-mail: "Getting women from all racial and ethnic groups involved in clinical trials and other types of research is critical to understanding and better treating this disease." Most of the research has been conducted in White women ".