Blacks, Hispanics Face Breast Cancer Treatment Delays

Delays not linked to health insurance, stage of the disease, or age

WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Black and Hispanic women newly diagnosed with breast cancer are more likely than white women to experience treatment delays of over a month, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Stacey A. Fedewa, M.P.H., of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues investigated the link between race and treatment delay among 250,007 patients diagnosed with stage I to stage III breast cancer between 2003 and 2006. They evaluated the factors associated with delaying treatment more than 30, 60, and 90 days after biopsy.

The researchers found that, while the overall average time to treatment was 34.30 days, black and Hispanic women were at greater risk of 30, 60, and 90-day treatment delays. The delays did not appear to be linked to health insurance, stage of breast cancer at the time the diagnosis was made, or the patient's age.

"Future studies are needed to define the role of structural, health system, physician, clinical, and patient factors in treatment delay among black and Hispanic women," the authors write.

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