Minority Women More Likely Than White Women To Have Pain Related to Certain Type of Breast Cancer, Study Finds
Minority women are more likely than white women to have severe pain related to metastatic breast cancer, according to a recent study, HealthDay/Washington Post reports.
For the study, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill researcher Liana Castel and colleagues studied more than 1,100 women with metastatic breast cancer and bone metastases in 19 countries. For one year, participants were given a pain test called the Brief Pain Inventory, which rates pain severity on a scale of zero to 10, with 10 being the most severe. Minority women reported a pain level of seven or higher significantly sooner during the observation period than white women. Researchers also found that inactivity and prior radiation treatment also contributed to greater pain.
Castel said the study confirms previous findings that indicate minority women have a higher risk for undertreatment of pain, such as inadequate dosing and poor access to medication. Researchers concluded that further research is needed to determine the cause of the disparity and that "clinicians should use information about known risk factors to inform more aggressive and earlier intervention among non-Caucasian women with metastatic breast cancer." The study is expected to be published in the Jan. 1 issue of the journal Cancer, HealthDay/Washington Post reports (HealthDay/Washington Post, 11/26).