Racial disparities still seen in use of breast cancer treatments
Black women less likely than whites to undergo less invasive procedures for staging the disease, study finds.
(HealthDay)—Black women with breast cancer are less likely than their white peers to benefit from improved surgical techniques used to treat their disease, according to a new study.
After examining five years of data, researchers in Houston found black women were 12 percent less likely than white women to undergo less invasive procedures for staging breast cancer, such as sentinel lymph node biopsy. They advised that these improved techniques should be more widely used.
In a sentinel lymph node biopsy, the first lymph node (gland) to which cancer cells are most likely to spread is identified, surgically removed and checked to see if cancer cells are present.
The study findings were scheduled for presentation Wednesday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
"These findings are an example of the need for continued improvements in disseminating national practice guidelines for breast cancer to surgeons and other breast cancer providers in all of our communities," Dr. Dalliah Mashon Black, an assistant professor of surgery in the department of surgical oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said in a news release from the American Association for Cancer Research.
"When we think of disparities, it doesn't only mean that patients might be undertreated, but they could be overtreated with unnecessary and more radical procedures," Black added.
In conducting the study, the researchers examined Medicare data from 2002 to 2007 on more than 31,000 women aged 66 or older. Of these women, nearly 1,800 were black, just under 28,000 were white and about 1,650 were of another or unknown race.
The investigators found that 62 percent of black women underwent sentinel lymph node biopsy. Meanwhile, 74 percent of white women had this less invasive procedure. Although the use of this type of biopsy increased every year for all of the women, disparities continued to exist in 2007.
"From 2002, when surgeons were still incorporating [sentinel lymph node] biopsy into practice, until 2007, black women were less likely to have undergone [sentinel lymph node] biopsy than were white women," Black noted. "The fact that this disparity continued over time shows that new and improved surgical therapies may not be effectively implemented in some patient populations."
Black women were much less likely to receive sentinel lymph node biopsy despite the size of their tumor, their sociodemographics and the type of surgery they had, the results showed.
The study authors pointed out that the more invasive biopsy, known as an axillary lymph node dissection, is effective but associated with more short-term and long-term complications. And black women who underwent this more invasive procedure had twice the risk for lymphedema—a painful, arm-swelling condition—than other women treated with sentinel lymph node biopsy, they noted.
The researchers said they plan to update their findings with information from the 2010 Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare database to determine if improvements have been made since 2007.
The data and conclusions of research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
More information: The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about health disparities.
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
- Breast cancer patients with positive ultrasound guided axillary node biopsy need dissection May 03, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Less invasive surgery detects residual breast cancer in lymph nodes after chemotherapy Dec 05, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- African American women with breast cancer less likely to have newer, recommended surgical procedure Dec 05, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- New guidelines issued for biopsy use in melanoma patients Jul 09, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Sentinel node biopsy safe, effective in head and neck melanomas Aug 05, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
3 hours ago From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
20 hours ago I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
(HealthDay)—Concurrent use of two immune checkpoint antibodies—ipilimumab and nivolumab—may be effective for the treatment of advanced melanoma, according to a proof-of-principal study presented in ...
Cancer 15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—The risks of metastasis and death associated with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) are low, but significant, and risk factors for poor outcome include tumor diameter, invasion beyond ...
Cancer 16 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A new review finds cancer survivors suffer a diverse and complex set of impairments, affecting virtually every organ system. Writing in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, Julie Silver, M.D., associate professor at Harvar ...
Cancer 20 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—A California doctor has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for bilking her patients out of more than $1 million by promising that an herbal supplement could cure late-stage cancer and other diseases.
Cancer 21 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new oral targeted drug, idelalisib (GS-1101), has the potential to stave off the need for additional treatments for relapsed or treatment-resistant chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to a study led in part by ...
Cancer 23 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
17 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
16 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
14 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
14 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |