Ethnicity plays role in cancer survival

Mayo Clinic

ROCHESTER, Minn. — New research is leading to significant improvements in survival rates for those facing advanced colon cancer, depending on your ethnicity.

A study done by the American Cancer Society shows that five-year survival rates for whites and Asians rose about seven percent from two decades ago.

But African Americans and Hispanics only saw an increase of a couple of percentage points.

“It seems like all of the positive aspects that we see in the treatment effects of colorectal cancer was really related to the non-African American population, mainly the white and Asian population in America,” said Dr. Axel Grothey, Professor of Oncology for Mayo.

He said he is surprised by the size of the disparity between ethnic groups.

“We have new drugs, new treatment approaches for these patients and we always think we’ve really made an impact in terms of long-term outcomes, survival of patients,” Grothey said.

Those with the study say that this is just one example of the discrepancies in health care and the improvements that need to be made.

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