breast cancer

White Breast Cancer Patients More Likely to Get Chemo

Filed under Chemotherapy, News and Research |

A new study has found that white women with breast cancer are three times more likely than black women to receive chemotherapy treatment and five times more likely to receive Tamoxifen treatment than black breast cancer patients.

Part of the problem may be that doctors treat white patients differently than black patients.

... one factor may be physicians' ability to communicate effectively with their patients.

"There has been some literature showing that physicians' perception of the patient may be affected by race," said Smitherman. "This includes perceptions of patients' ability to understand choices, a sense of affiliation with patients and the ability to engage patients."

"When we walk into a patient's room, it's not like there's pixie dust and we leave everything back at the door."

One other reason for the disparity, according to researchers, may be that many in the black community are distrustful of the medical establishment.

"There is some, perhaps appropriate, distrust of the medical community," said Smitherman. "It's been shaped from the Tuskegee study on down, and this is passed down through the generations," he added, referring to a notorious study in which black men were not informed of their diagnosis of syphilis, and in some cases, were denied treatment.

Thinking about the story we posted a couple days ago about the woman who had a double mastectomy after being misdiagnosed with breast cancer, perhaps all of us should be just a little distrustful of the medical establishment.

Racial Disparities Affect Breast Cancer Treatment


Posted by Staff on October 8, 2007 5:52 PM | DIGG | del.icio.us | furl