Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/24/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Differences at diagnosis, not differences in treatment reasons for discrepancy, experts say

It's a somewhat shameful medical fact that in the United States, black women are 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. Furthermore, the 20-year-long divide in breast cancer survival rates among black and white women hasn't changed. Experts now say that the difference is driven more on how sick women are when they come in for a diagnosis rather than the differences in how they're treated.

Researchers also accounted for how sick the patients were when first diagnosed, the black-white difference in survival dropped to 4.4 percent, meaning two-thirds of the difference was because of how sick patients were at diagnosis.

Researchers also accounted for how sick the patients were when first diagnosed, the black-white difference in survival dropped to 4.4 percent, meaning two-thirds of the difference was because of how sick patients were at diagnosis.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/24/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Breast cancer, survival rates black women, white women, diagnosis


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In spite of declines in breast cancer deaths over the past 20 years alongside strides in diagnosis and treatment, breast cancer survival rates along racial divides still exist, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers have been perplexed as to why the racial disparity exists. Some have suggested the differences in screening, existing health problems, socioeconomic status and treatment.


A new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, now says that the low survival rate can't be explained solely by the types and frequency of treatment. 


Characteristics at diagnosis explain the differences in survival, not differences in the type, duration and frequency of treatment. Black patients had poorer health at diagnosis, including more advanced disease, worse biological features of the disease and larger tumor size.


"Can you blame the oncologists? Probably not. But what we are saying is that in order to improve diagnoses, we have to turn to primary care," Jeffrey Silber, study author and director of the Center for Outcomes Research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia says. "This is an issue of prevention."


Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among women after lung cancer. Breast cancer deaths occur in about one in 36 women in the United States each year. However, death rates have been declining since the 1980s as a result of earlier detection through screening. However, they have leveled off in recent years.


Researchers in the study compared five-year survival rates of more than 7,000 black women over 65 with three sets of white women who were matched on factors such as year of diagnosis, state of their health upon diagnosis and the state of their tumors. 


The study also examined treatment such as surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The women were all insured by Medicare to eliminate any effect from socioeconomic background.


Overall five-year survival rates were 55.9 percent for black women and 68.8 percent for whites, a 12.9 percentage point difference. 


Researchers also accounted for how sick the patients were when first diagnosed, the black-white difference in survival dropped to 4.4 percent, meaning two-thirds of the difference was because of how sick patients were at diagnosis. Looking further at treatment, as well as their condition at time of the diagnosis, dropped the difference to 3.6 percent.


"Therefore, the overall survival disparity is greatly influenced by how sick patients are at diagnosis, but only trivially influenced by differences in treatment," Silber says.


Reducing the disparity in survival rates means reducing the differences in how sick patients are when first diagnosed, Silber says. "Reducing treatment disparities, while important, will not solve the survival disparity problem. We must find ways to have black patients present at diagnosis ... with less advanced disease, smaller tumors and with less chronic conditions like diabetes and heart failure, all of which lead to worse survival."


---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Health

Beat fatigue with these healthy tips and tricks Watch

Image of The unhealthy feeling of tiredness and fatigue was scientifically noted to be caused by lack of sleep, too much coffee and low iron levels in the blood.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A lot of people wake up feeling tired in the morning and the exhaustion progresses throughout the day. This causes a poor and insufficient performance on daily activities. The unhealthy feeling of tiredness and fatigue was scientifically noted to be caused by lack of ... continue reading


The newest 'cure' for breast cancer: Scientists reveal unexpected new findings with an osteoporosis drug Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists have recently discovered a way to prevent breast cancer from spreading into the bones. This could serve as good news for women everywhere whose lives can now be saved from breast cancer. Scientists hope this new discovery will finally lower death rates ... continue reading


Herpes curing cancer? New study aims to prove radical cancer treatment Watch

Image of A specific strain of the herpes virus has been used in trials to treat those who are suffering from melanoma.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests that a genetically modified strain of the herpes virus may be capable of killing cancer cells and preventing the growth of tumors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The herpes strain that ... continue reading


HEART, HEAL THYSELF! Radical new approach for heart failure patients Watch

Image of Hailed as an

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's an example of doctors saying, "Heart... heal thyself!" Oxford University researchers are touting a revolutionary treatment where the heart is encouraged to heal itself after a heart attack. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientists believe the process ... continue reading


Is this the definitive cure for Ebola? Researchers find Ebola's 'Achilles heel' Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hope for new treatments that finally avert Ebola grows with the recent discovery from researchers that there is a weak spot within the deadly virus. According to researchers in New York, a specific protein that determines whether or not the Ebola virus can further ... continue reading


Milwaukee man shocks distraught family by 'coming back to life' Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When a man from Milwaukee was pronounced dead last week, everyone, from his girlfriend to his brother, was immediately notified. The first responders made all the necessary arrangements for the corpse to be transported to the morgue. While all the preparations were ... continue reading


Revolutionary! Robotic arm controlled by thought provides breakthrough for paralyzed Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An exciting new breakthrough in robotics may now enable the paralyzed to command helpmates with everyday activity. The breakthrough came in form of 34-year-old Erik Sorto, paralyzed from the neck down after being shot in the back 13 years ago. Thanks to a ... continue reading


Ancient Chinese plant 'thunder god vine' studied as miracle drug for obesity Watch

Image of In developed nations, where food is inexpensive and plentiful, obesity has been an ongoing problem. Obesity causes heart disease, diabetes and increases the risk for heart attack and stroke.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A traditional Chinese medicine known as "thunder god vine" is being heralded by some scientists as the new miracle drug in the war against obesity. Scientists in an article published in the medical journal Cell last week said an extract made from the plant ... continue reading


Brain reset: Scientists uncover unusual way to get rid of brain disorders Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

By implanting special cells that emit GABA into the brains of adult mice scientists found a way to cure certain brain disorders, like lazy eye. Initially an almost impossible endeavor, the experiment led a team of scientists to a way to reset the brain and basically ... continue reading


Health in the United States: Which cities are the healthiest? Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The American College of Sports Medicine has recently released their 2015 American Fitness Index, naming the top three fittest and the least fit cities in the entire United States. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) -  Among the thousands of cities surveyed ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 51:12-20
12 And therefore I shall thank you and praise you, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 11
8 The precepts of Yahweh are honest, joy for the ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:27-33
27 They came to Jerusalem again, and as Jesus was ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 30th, 2015 Image

St. Joan of Arc
May 30: St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter