African-Americans have worse prognosis at colorectal cancer diagnosis

Jan 16, 2009

African-American patients with colorectal were more likely to present with worse pathological features at diagnosis and to have a worse five-year survival rate compared to Caucasian patients, according to a study conducted by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University.

The results are being presented at the 2009 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. The study was led by Edith Mitchell, M.D., a clinical professor in the Department of Medical Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Mitchell is also associate director of Diversity Programs for the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.

"One possible explanation could be the socioeconomic factors that are often associated with African-American patients," Dr. Mitchell said. "For example, research has shown that African-Americans are less likely than Caucasian patients to have health insurance, and thus they may not receive the screening necessary to detect colorectal cancer at an earlier stage."

Dr. Mitchell and colleagues obtained data from the tumor registry of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on 2,500 patients treated for colorectal cancer from 1988 to 2007. They compared those data with data obtained from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database on 244,701 patients with colorectal cancer treated from 1988 to 2005. The researchers collected data on location, stage and histologic grade of the cancer.

In both patient groups, more African-American patients presented with advanced disease (defined as stage III or stage IV) at diagnosis. African-American patients were also more likely to have proximal - on the right side of the colon - disease. Among patients diagnosed with early-stage disease, the risk for nodal involvement was greater in African-American patients.

African-American patients also had a worse five-year survival, both overall and when stratified by cancer stage.

"Right now, we cannot definitely explain why there are such differences between the African-American and the Caucasian patients," Dr. Mitchell said. "We need to do more studies on prognostic factors related to tumor biology, molecular markers and genetics to account for the racial disparities."

Source: Thomas Jefferson University

Explore further: Researchers find chemotherapy after bladder cancer surgery improved survival

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study shows troubling rise in use of animals in experiments

1 hour ago

Despite industry claims of reduced animal use as well as federal laws and policies aimed at reducing the use of animals, the number of animals used in leading U.S. laboratories increased a staggering 73 percent from 1997 ...

NY surveying banks on cyber security defenses

3 hours ago

(AP)—New York financial regulators are considering tougher cyber security requirements for banks to mandate more complex computer sign-ins and certifications from the contractors of their cyber defenses, the state's top ...

Life-saving train design is rarely used

4 hours ago

(AP)—Nearly a decade ago, the U.S. secretary of transportation stood at the site of a horrendous commuter train crash near downtown Los Angeles and called for the adoption of a new train car design that ...

Climate change may flatten famed surfing waves

4 hours ago

On a summer day in 1885, three Hawaiian princes surfed at the mouth of the San Lorenzo River on crudely constructed boards made from coastal redwoods, bringing the sport to the North American mainland.

Recommended for you

Deodorant use ok for radiotherapy patients

Feb 27, 2015

Women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer can use deodorant without fear of increased underarm skin reaction, pain, itching or burning, research suggests.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.