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Blacks more likely than whites to die from live cancer: Study

December 21, 2010 - Washington

Scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center has found that black people with early stage liver cancer are more likely than white patients to die from their disease.

Five years after diagnosis, 18 percent of white liver cancer patients were alive but only 15 percent of Hispanic patients and 12 percent of black patients were.

Median survival times ranged from 10 months for whites and Hispanics to 8 months for blacks.

The researchers also found racial and ethnic disparities in how often patients received treatment, with black and Hispanic patients less likely than whites to have any kind of treatment.

When researchers looked at survival only among patients who had been treated, the disparity in survival persisted, but the gap narrowed, especially for Hispanics.

Blacks who had surgery lived a median 29 months, Hispanics 40 months and whites 43 months. Median survival for all races was only four to six months without treatment.

Researchers looked at data from 13,244 patients with early stage hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver cancer.

The study appeared in the December issue of Archives of Surgery.


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