4 Things to Know About Racial Disparity in Colorectal Cancer Treatment

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In a recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers set out to examine the lower survival rate of black patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

The researchers examined 9,935 non-Hispanic, white patients and 1,281 black patients with stage IV colorectal cancer.

The study found:
•    Black patients had lower rates of consultation with radiation oncology, medical oncology and surgery.
•    Black patients seen in consultation received less radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery directed at the primary tumor.
•    A 15 percent higher risk of mortality in black patients than in white patients.
•    Adjustment in treatment eliminated the increased mortality risk in black patients.

The researchers concluded that the results suggest treatment disparity is the cause for inferior survival of black patients with metastatic colorectal cancer and suggested further research into the underlying causes of this inequality.

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