The racial disparity in breast cancer prognosis and survival may have more to do with socioeconomic status, rather than biological factors, according to a study of women diagnosed and treated at a public hospital. The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.
At a time when blacks share a disproportionate share of the nation's cancer burden, new research presented here suggests that poverty and genetics may be at least partly to blame.
"These studies dispel the myth that it's all about race," says Lucile L. Adams-Campbell, PhD, director of the Howard University Cancer Center in Washington. "Health disparities go beyond color and ethnicity."
"African-American women are more commonly poor and uninsured, so some studies suggest socioeconomic status, not race, is associated with a poor prognostic profile," says researcher Keith A. Dookeran, MBBS, of Stroger Hospital of Cook County in Illinois.
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