Tuesday, November 13, 2012
White patients with the most common form of kidney cancer, called renal cell carcinoma, are slightly more likely to survive the disease than black patients, according to a large new study
It's been known that blacks have higher rates of renal cancer than whites, and smaller studies have also pointed to racial disparities in how patients make out after their diagnosis. But experts have disagreed on the reasons. About 64,000 people will be diagnosed with some type of kidney cancer this year in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute, making the disease the number 12 cause of cancer deaths for Americans. The researchers looked to a large national database to confirm whether African Americans fare worse with renal cell carcinoma and to look for any clues to why that might be the case. The researchers collected information on 39,350 patients - 4,359 of whom were black and 34,991 white - diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma from 1992 to 2007. They found that 72.6% of white patients survived at least five years out from their diagnosis, while 68% of blacks lived for at least five years. The researchers found that 66.7% of black patients and 61.9% of whites were diagnosed with tumors that had not yet spread. African Americans are more prone to hypertension, which, by the way, is a risk factor for renal cell cancer.