African American patients with colorectal carcinoma have a worse prognosis, compared with Caucasians.
In this study, researchers from the United States sought to analyze the causes of this disparity in survival.
|African Americans were treated less often with chemotherapy and radiation therapy than Caucasians.|
The research team performed a retrospective study of patients with colorectal carcinoma.
The team evaluated the impact of treatments received, as well as the role of socioeconomic factors such as income, education, and poverty levels.
The overall survival of African Americans and Caucasians, stage at presentation, treatment received, and socioeconomic factors were analyzed using the institution's tumor registry, and 1990 census data.
The research team found that the overall survival of African American patients was worse compared with Caucasians, both due to all causes and cancer-related deaths.
They calculated the relative risk of death due to all causes to be 1.4 for African Americans, 4.3 for patients with Stage IV disease, and 2.3 for patients not undergoing surgery.
Following multivariate adjustment for gender, site, socioeconomic factors, and therapeutic modalities, the relative risks for death were 1.5 for African Americans, 1.4 for patients 60 years of age or older, and 4.2 for Stage IV disease.
Furthermore, the team found that the survival difference between African Americans and Caucasians, was not influenced by income, poverty level, or education.
However, African Americans were treated less frequently with chemotherapy and radiation therapy compared with their Caucasian counterparts.
Dr Rangaswamy Govindarajan's team concluded, "African American patients with colorectal carcinoma have a poorer prognosis compared with Caucasians".
"This discrepancy may be due to decreased utilization of chemotherapy and radiation therapy".
"Socioeconomic factors and lack of access to health care do not entirely explain the worse prognosis of African Americans".
"These factors should be identified and dealt with to improve the health care of African American patients with various malignant disorders".