Colorectal Cancer and Racial Differences
Colorectal cancer death rates have been decreasing for Caucasian Americans, but
for African Americans, the death rate has been going up. The study looked at 491
patients who received treatment from just a few different facilities. Many of
the patients had the same surgeons. The patients were about the same age, and
their cancers were about the same level of severity. The African American
patients were 50 percent more likely to die than the Caucasian patients. The gap
in survival was widest among people whose cancers were caught early.
Researchers are not sure why this gap exists, but they point out how important
it is for African Americans to pursue follow-up care closely, no matter what
stage their colorectal cancer was in.
Cancer, 24 May 2004