American Cancer SocietyThis news may be quite interesting as it deals with cancer and racial disparities. A new study claims that when African American and white cancer patients are said to be treated at comparable, specialized cancer care institutions, mortality rates are believed to be approximately equal.

The discoveries propose that where patients are given care may partially clarify noted racial differences in cancer mortality.

The study was headed by Tracy Onega, PhD, MA, of the Dartmouth Medical School who observed records for over 2,00,000 Medicare patients treated for cancer between 1998 and 2003. The investigation appeared to concentrate on one- and three-year mortality for patients suffering from lung, breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer.

National Cancer Institute (NCI) comprehensive or clinical cancer centers were utilized to asses the impact of the place of service, based on their status as exceedingly specialized cancer care settings. Out of the sample population, roughly 9 percent were African American. An elevated percentage of African Americans visited the NCI cancer center as opposed to Caucasians i.e. 11.1% vs. 6.9%.

The study authors discovered that across all cancer care settings in the study population, the chances of dying from cancer or other causes at one year was believed to be around 13 percent more for African Americans. At three years, their threat was thought to be roughly 23 percent more as compared to their Caucasian peers.

Nevertheless, when the examiners observed only at patients who were given care at NCI Cancer Centers, there seemed to be no noteworthy racial disparities in the possibility of dying at one and three years following a cancer diagnosis. The same could be right when comparing death rates among the African American study population. Those getting care at an NCI cancer center encompassed a lower death rate at one and three years as against those treated elsewhere.

Onega, commented, “We have known for some time that African Americans die in greater numbers from cancer than Caucasians. The question is, why? This research shows that where patients are treated can influence those outcomes significantly.”

Onega mentioned that the subsequent step is to understand the components of treatment location that most dramatically affect differences in care, and ultimately outcomes, for all cancer patients.

The study was published online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.