Ethnicity, geneder and socioeconomic status are three factors that are often associated with health outcome disparities, including cancer care. There have been studies that showed disparities in care and therefore health outcomes in cancer patients. The Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit says this is not the case in their hospital, according to a new study.
The research study looked at 788 male patients aged 44 to 90 years at the hospital diagnosed with localized prostate cancer and were treated with external beam radiation therapy. Almost half (48.5%) of the study participants were African Americans with a median household annual income $36,917. 46% of the participants were white with a median household income of $60,190 per year.
Does the quality of care you get depend on who you are, what you are, and how much you earn?
The study results suggest that a patient’s ethnicity and income do not influence the outcome of the study participants.
According to study author Dr. Benjamin Movsas, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the hospital
“This study offers an extremely important message for all patients with prostate cancer who receive radiation therapy. Despite the fact that there was a large difference in income based on race, none of the socioeconomic status factors predicted for outcome. All patients did equally well, based on the known prognostic factors.”
In another study, researchers looked at the outcomes of female patients with advanced ovarian cancer treated with chemotherapy of cisplatin/paclitaxel. The study participants consisted of 1,392 whites and 97 African Americans Their results revealed that race has no impact on the patients’ treatment outcomes. One limitation of this study, however, is the low number of African American participants.
Previous studies suggested that socioeconomic factors can strongly influence treatment outcomes of people who had
The two recent studies on cancer and health outcomes give some comfort that disparities in health care due to socioeconomic status may not be that bad after all.
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