Social, Economic and Health Care Inequalities Likely Cause of Higher Colorectal Cancer Death Rates Among Blacks, Study Finds
Blacks have higher death rates from colorectal cancer than whites most likely because of social, economic and health care inequalities, according to a report to be published in the June 1 issue of the journal Cancer, HealthDay/Washington Post reports. For the report, researchers from the University of Texas School of Public Health reviewed findings from 10 previous studies on the link between race and ethnicity and colorectal cancer survival rates. After adjusting for socioeconomic, cancer screening and cancer treatment inequalities, researchers found that blacks have only slightly lower colorectal cancer survival rates than whites. According to researchers, "These findings demonstrated that there is no strong evidence of racial disparities in survival between African-Americans and Caucasians with colon cancer after accounting for racial differences in socioeconomic status." They added, "Therefore, efforts to eliminate racial disparities in health care and to minimize disparities in socioeconomic status have the potential to reduce racial inequalities in colon cancer survival" (HealthDay/Washington Post, 4/23).