(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Different survival rates between US Asian residents and other ethnicities reflect health care disparities, according to an international team of researchers. This conclusion is based on a study entitled “Comparative analysis of clinicopathologic features, treatment, and survival of Asian women with a breast cancer diagnosis residing in the United States,” which is published in the September issue of Cancer.

In this study, the investigators aimed to determine whether there are heath care disparities in the rates of breast cancer diagnoses and disease-specific survival (DSS) between Asians and other ethnic groups residing in the United States. To meet their aim, the investigators examined data from 658,691 patients diagnosed with breast cancer between 1988 and 2008. Out of the total number of patients in the study, 511,701 were non-Hispanic white (NHW), (77.7%), 57,890 were black (8.8%), 45,461 were Hispanic white (HW) (6.9%), and 43,639 were Asian (6.6%).

The investigators found that after their data were adjusted for disease stage, “Japanese patients diagnosed with stage I through III disease had better DSS rates than patients in the NHW group or in the other Asian subgroups.” They also observed lower survival rates in Hawaiian/Pacific Islander patients with stage III or IV disease compared to their counterparts in the NHW cohort and in other Asian subgroups. All of the other Asian subgroups had survival rates similar to that of the NHW group.

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Based on the finding of this study, the investigators concluded that “disparities exist for Asian women with breast cancer who reside in the United States compared with NHW groups and among Asian subgroups…further investigation of these disparities is warranted to increase early detection and treatment for specific subgroups.”