Survival, Treatment Disparities Between Black And White Kidney Cancer Patients

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Renal Cell Cancer

Older black and white renal cell cancer patients do not receive thesame treatment or have the same survival outcomes, according to a studypublished in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Reuters Health reports. For the study, Sonja Berndt of the National Cancer Institute and colleagues examined data on 964 black and 10,482 white Medicare beneficiaries with renal cell cancer.

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Whilefive-year survival rates for whites with renal cell cancer improved inrecent years, the rates for blacks have not changed much, researchersfound. According to the study, blacks with renal cell cancer survive amedian 2.5 years, compared with 3.2 years among whites. The differencewas eliminated after researchers adjusted for other illnesses patientshad and the type of treatment they underwent.

Blacks were morelikely than whites to have other illnesses besides kidney cancer, thestudy said. Further, 61% of blacks had surgery to remove their kidneys,compared with 70% of whites. Among renal cell cancer patients who hadtheir kidneys removed, blacks had worse survival rates than whites.However, blacks who did not undergo the surgery had better survivalrates than whites who did not undergo the surgery.

Accordingto the study, "Although the reasons for the disparity in treatment arenot entirely clear and need to be examined in future studies, thisstudy suggests black patients may benefit from efforts to improve theavailability of health care and interventions to reduce comorbidillness" (Reuters Health, 9/7).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser WeeklyHealth Disparities Report,search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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