A new study by the American Cancer Society has found that new and better treatments that tend to benefit later stage colorectal cancer patients are not benefiting Latinos.
The study lead by Dr. Helmneh Sineshaw found that survival rates from metastatic, later stage colorectal cancer are not improving for Hispanic and blacks. The study found that survival rates for non-Hispanic whites and Asians over a five-year period increased from 9.8% to 15.7% for whites and improved from 11.4% to 17.7% for Asians. Meanwhile the survival from metastatic colorectal cancer showed no statistical improvement for Latinos and blacks.
Dr. Sineshaw noted, “We know from previous studies that when people of any race get equal care they have similar outcomes. But studies show there are significant inequalities in the dissemination of new treatments, likely leading to the gaps in survival our analysis found. The reasons why ethnic minorities are not getting equal treatment are complicated, but likely include poorer health coming into the system and lower socioeconomic status, which clearly leads to barriers to good health care.”
The study calls for an increased effort to provide Latinos with better access to new treatments that may save their lives and a better understanding of the factors contributing to these differences in survival rates.