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Minority Women More Likely To Have Pain Related To Certain Type Of Breast Cancer

Armen Hareyan's picture

Minority women are more likely than white women to have severe painrelated to metastatic breast cancer, according to a recent study, HealthDay/Washington Post reports.

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For the study, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hillresearcher Liana Castel and colleagues studied more than 1,100 womenwith metastatic breast cancer and bone metastases in 19 countries. Forone year, participants were given a pain test called the Brief PainInventory, which rates pain severity on a scale of zero to 10, with 10being the most severe. Minority women reported a pain level of seven orhigher significantly sooner during the observation period than whitewomen. Researchers also found that inactivity and prior radiationtreatment also contributed to greater pain.

Castel said thestudy confirms previous findings that indicate minority women have ahigher risk for undertreatment of pain, such as inadequate dosing andpoor access to medication.

Researchers concluded that further researchis needed to determine the cause of the disparity and that "cliniciansshould use information about known risk factors to inform moreaggressive and earlier intervention among non-Caucasian women withmetastatic breast cancer." The study is expected to be published in theJan. 1 issue of the journal Cancer, HealthDay/Washington Post reports (HealthDay/Washington Post, 11/26).

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 HealthDisparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of TheHenry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.