Pharma Strategy Blog

Commentary on Pharma & Biotech Oncology / Hematology New Product Development

A report published
last year by the American Cancer Society originally found that uninsured
Americans were less likely to get screened for cancer, more likely to
be diagnosed with an advanced stage of the disease, and less likely to
survive that diagnosis than their privately insured counterparts.  The
report also showed that among African Americans, the 5-year survival rate for
colorectal cancer was 30% higher among patients who are privately
insured compared to those without health insurance.

Endoscopic image of colon cancer identified in...Image via WikipediaMore recently, the latest Colorectal
Cancer Facts and Figures 2008-2010
, an American Cancer
Society
report on the state of the disease reported that fewer people are being diagnosed with and dying from colorectal cancer, but the rates aren't falling at the same pace for all Americans.

Specifically, the ACS stated that:

"Before 1980, colorectal cancer death rates were higher in
whites than in African American men; numbers were similar in women of
both races. Since then, ACS researchers see a marked divergence: while
colorectal cancer incidence and death rates have plummeted among
whites, rates among African Americans and other minorities have
declined far more slowly. In 2005, the mortality rates were about 48%
higher in African-American men and women than in whites."

There are a number of barriers to care that still need to be overcome including more widespread screening and healthcare coverage.  The report found that among African Americans, the 5-year survival rate for
colorectal cancer was 30% higher among patients who are privately
insured compared to those without health insurance.

Studies have also shown that African American patients are
more likely than whites to be diagnosed when the disease is in its
later stages, which has a poorer prognosis.  They're also less likely to receive the recommended
surgery, adjuvant chemotherapy, and radiation treatment after a cancer
diagnosis.

This led the ACS to state that:

"Survival rates among people with Medicaid or who are uninsured are
dismal, and there are a high proportion of African Americans for whom
Medicaid is their primary insurer. These patients may not be getting
the same quality of care."


Education is key to making a difference, as is ensuring greater insurance coverage.  The sad thing is that improved screening techniques now allows doctors to detect, prevent or treat this particular cancer at a very early stage when it is possible to cure patients of the disease effectively with surgery.

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One Response to “Racial gap widens despite drop in colorectal cancer rates”

  1. Colon Health Problems

    Colon Health Problems

    Unless you’re living in an stray region, you’ll happen that it is very dif

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