African-American Ovarian Cancer Patients at Increased Risk
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Mar 14
Even after controlling for disease
stage and other clinically
relevant variables, African-American women with ovarian cancer are 30%
more likely to die than
Caucasian women, according to a report published in the March 15th issue
Dr. Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan, from Wayne State University in Detroit, and
colleagues compared the
outcomes of 12,285 Caucasian women with those of 798 African-American
women with primary ovarian
cancer. All patient information was obtained from the Surveillance,
Epidemiology, and End Results
The crude median survival for Caucasian women was 32 months compared with
22 months for
African-American women (p < 0.0001), the investigators note.
African-American women were younger at diagnosis, more likely to be
single, and less likely to undergo
surgery than Caucasian women.
African-American women were 50% more likely
to have stage IV
disease than Caucasian women. Furthermore, lymph node involvement was
more common among
Univariate analysis revealed that African-American women were 30% more
likely than Caucasian
women to die from any cause, the authors state. Multivariate analysis,
adjusting for all the relevant
prognostic variables, yielded the same finding.
The results indicate that ethnicity has a strong impact on risk of death
in ovarian cancer patients.
However, "because the estimated risk of death...did not change after
adjustment for the variables that
were shown to differ by ethnicity, additional variables should be
investigated that are not available in the
SEER database, such as socioeconomic status, course of treatment, and
accessibility to care," the
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