Black women with uterine cancer are more likely to die than white women given similar treatment
Black women in the study lived a median of 10.6 months following treatment, compared to 12.2 months among whites. And they were 26 percent more likely to die than white women, Dr. G. Larry Maxwell and his colleagues at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. reported.
"When response to treatment was analyzed, blacks appeared to have lower tumor response to each of the chemotherapy regimens employed in the trials," they wrote in their report, published in the journal Cancer.
Maxwell's team analyzed demographic and clinical data from 1,151 patients taking part in various trials of treatments for stage III, IV or recurrent endometrial cancer -- a cancer of the lining of the uterus.
It appears that blacks show up for diagnosis with more serious disease, when treatment is more difficult, the researchers said.
"While the causes of this survival difference remain to be elucidated, socioeconomic, biologic and cultural etiologies may be involved," they wrote.
Ethnic and racial differences have been seen in several types of cancer. For instance, black men are less likely to survive prostate cancer.
There are more than 40,000 cases of uterine cancer a year in the United States and 7,300 deaths.
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