New information discovered regarding Hispanics with colorectal cancer

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San Antonio (June 8, 2004) – Hispanics present with colorectal cancer at a younger age and with more advanced disease than other ethnic groups, according to a study of 453 colorectal cancer patients treated between 1985 and 2001 by physicians from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The study is one of the first to examine colorectal cancer treatment outcomes in Hispanics.

Of the patients, 296 were Hispanic, 112 were Caucasian, 37 were black and eight were of other descent. Most of the patients were from Bexar County and all underwent surgery at University Hospital, the Health Science Center’s teaching hospital.

Hispanics were diagnosed with colorectal cancer five years earlier on the average than Caucasians (53.6 years of age for Hispanics versus 58.5 for Caucasians) and one year earlier than blacks (53.6 versus 54.5).

Hispanics also fared more poorly in terms of disease severity and survival. Stage IV cancers were diagnosed in 32 percent of Hispanics versus 18 percent of Caucasians. Two age groups of Hispanic patients (younger than 55 and 55 and older) both lived an average of 48 months after surgery. By contrast, Caucasians younger than 55 survived nearly twice as long (92 months) and those 55 and older survived 77 months.

“This touches on the need for colorectal screening in the Hispanic population,” said lead author Morton S. Kahlenberg, M.D., associate professor of surgery and head of surgical oncology at the Health Science Center.

The findings were presented at the 2004 annual meetings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium and the Society of Surgical Oncology. Study co-authors, all from the Health Science Center, were Dimitrios Stefanidis, M.D.; Jennifer Miranda, M.D.; Adrian Wong, M.D.; Charles R. Thomas Jr., M.D.; Dennis L. Rousseau Jr., M.D.; and Brad H. Pollock, M.P.H., Ph.D.

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