Researchers evaluated data from the California Cancer Registry database on 8.860 women ages 15-39 years who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1997 and 2006.
The results: Five-year survival among women who underwent surgery more than 6 weeks after diagnosis was 80% compared with 90% among women who underwent surgery less than 2 weeks after diagnosis (p=0.005).
Significantly higher rates of black and Hispanic women experienced treatment delays longer than 6 weeks, compared with white women (15% versus 8%), and similar disparities were found by insurance status (public or no insurance 19% versus private insurance 9.5%) and socioeconomic status (high 17.5% versus low 8%).
My take: We continue to see evidence of disparities in health care in the USA that can lead to a lower cancer for survival. Much of my personal work with Susan G. Komen foundation is aimed at reducing disparities, whether by race, income, or insurance status. Noblesse oblige! I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.
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Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad: Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes. Thank you.