Study: Older blacks less likely to get cancer treatments

Black patients older than 65 are "consistently less likely" than comparable white patients to receive recommended cancer treatments, according to a new study published in the journal Cancer. The study, which examined treatments for more than 143,000 U.S. residents with lung, breast, colon, rectal or prostate cancer treated between 1992 and 2002 under Medicare, revealed some marked differences in the treatment of lung, colon and rectal cancers.

Among various disparities, researchers found that blacks with early-stage lung cancer were 19 percent less likely to have tumors surgically removed than whites. Blacks with rectal cancer were 27 percent less likely than whites to get chemotherapy after having tumor-removal surgery, and blacks with colon cancer were 24 percent less likely to get chemotherapy than whites after surgical removal of a tumor.

To learn more about the study:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report piece

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