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Current Colon Cancer Treatments Not Helping Hispanics

colon cancer

Photo: National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Despite new treatments and advancements in medical technology, colon cancer survival rates for Hispanics have remained statistically unchanged when compared to non-Hispanic whites and Asians.
Data from the 13 population-based cancer registries of the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program shows that out of approximately 50,000 cases, significant racial disparities were noted regarding survival rates for metastatic colorectal cancer.
SEE ALSO: Hispanics least likely to get colon cancer screening
Overall five-year survival rates increased significantly for non-Hispanic whites (9.8 percent to 15.7 percent) and for Asians (11.4 percent 17.7 percent); however, increases were not statistically significant for non-Hispanic blacks (8.6 percent to 9.8 percent) or Hispanics (14.0 percent to 16.4 percent).
Why such a difference in survival rates? Experts conducting the research feel it has to do with access to care, quality of that care, and overall health of Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks when presenting for treatment.
We know from previous studies that when people of any race get equal care they have similar outcomes,” said researcher Helmneh Sineshaw, M.D., MPH in a press release. “But studies show there are significant inequalities in the dissemination of new treatments, likely leading to the gaps in survival our analysis found. The reasons why ethnic minorities are not getting equal treatment are complicated, but likely include poorer health coming into the system and lower socioeconomic status, which clearly leads to barriers to good health care. Those same factors likely lead to less aggressive
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