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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Health

A LOT OF TEETH! Doctors remove 232 teeth from mouth of teenager Watch

Image of Medicos have described the teenager's condition as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

We've all had to suffer for several hours in a dental chair, but chances are that our worst experiences were nothing like that of an Indian teenager who had 232 teeth removed during a seven-hour operation. Now done to 28 teeth, the youth has a better chance for ... continue reading


SURPRISE! Study finds that obese kids in the U.S. see themselves as being skinny! Watch

Image of Curiously, researchers found that some obese children even believed that they were underweight.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Should it come as a surprise - or just another sad comment on the prevalence of obesity in the United States? A new study has found that children who are overweight or obese don't see themselves as being so. Researchers and medical experts says this needs to ... continue reading


NEW FEARS: Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome may be transmitted through air Watch

Image of In their research, scientists from King Fahd Medical Research Center in Saudi Arabia collected three air samples from a camel barn.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are new fears that the rapidly spreading virus, Middle Eastern respiratory The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS, may be an airborne virus - making the disease highly easy to transmit, and get. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - To ... continue reading


Light at end of tunnel? HIV epidemic could be contained by 2030 Watch

Image of While HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, continues to be an ongoing threat - more so in developing nations where education about its transmission is compromised, there now appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, continues to be an ongoing threat - more so in developing nations where education about its transmission is compromised, there now appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel. According to the United Nations, new HIV ... continue reading


Dye now being used to detect dementia Watch

Image of Researchers from Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, tested 152 patients older than 50 years of age to see if they could predict cognitive decline by tracking changes in the brain.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dementia, like Alzheimer's is a disease that usually effects the elderly. In the manner of Alzheimer's plaque begins to collect in the brain at an advanced age. This drastically effects the patient's memory, cognitive ability and motor skills, with many winding ... continue reading


Breakthrough announced in hereditary condition that causes blindness Watch

Image of The age at which symptoms start is variable and the rate of deterioration often varies. In around half of all cases there are other family members with the condition.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Retinitis pigmentosa, or RP is an inherited, degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and frequently leads to blindness. Affecting around one in 3,000 to 4,000 people, scientists have moved closer to a breakthrough in "personalized" ... continue reading


Deadly plague than can be spread by coughing, sneezing infects Colorado man Watch

Image of Untreated plague is always fatal. Antibiotics have to be given within 24 hours of the first symptoms to reduce the chance of death.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's the first case of pneumonic plague seen in Colorado since 2004. A man there has been diagnosed with among the rarest and most fatal forms of the plague, an airborne version that can be spread through coughing and sneezing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Sighs of relief after vials of smallpox found Watch

Image of The FBI is investigating how the samples ended up where they did.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There were sighs of relief when someone made a discovery in a disused closet. Many thanked the Lord that it didn't fall into the wrong hands. An employee at the National Institutes of Health found vials of smallpox, the onetime scourge of humanity, in a storage ... continue reading


Birth control computer chip implanted under the skin 'could be on sale by 2018' Watch

Image of An international coalition of governments, companies, philanthropies and nonprofit organizations committed to providing family planning to 120 million more women in the world by 2020.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Long in gestation, the idea of a computer chip implanted under the skin to regulate fertility is now within throwing distance of becoming an actuality. The idea has been with us since the Nineties, and thanks to a nudge from Microsoft's Bill Gates, such as ... continue reading


New blood test could determine onset of Alzheimer's Watch

Image of The new blood test, which examines 10 proteins in the blood, can predict with 87 percent accuracy whether someone suffering memory problems will develop Alzheimer's within a year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The memory-destroying condition known as Alzheimer's, preying chiefly on the elderly, has no known cure. However, after a decade of research, scientists at Oxford University and King's College London have identified 10 proteins that arise when a patient is due ... 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, Jeremiah 13:1-11
1 Yahweh said this to me, 'Go and buy a linen ... Read More

Psalm, Deuteronomy 32:18-19, 20, 21
18 (You forget the Rock who fathered you, the God who ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:31-35
31 He put another parable before them, 'The kingdom ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 28th, 2014 Image

St. Innocent I
July 28: Innocent was born at Albano, Italy. He became Pope, succeeding ... 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