The impact of ethnicity and insurance status on stage of cancer at diagnosis and overall survival of breast cancer.


154 Background: Major advances in early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer (BC) have been achieved with significant declines in mortality. However, not all segments of the United States population have experienced equal benefits from this progress. Though ethnic disparities in BC outcome have been attributed to lack of adequate health insurance, the differences in outcome when insurance and socioeconomic status are similar still exist. We elected to examine the effect of insurance status at diagnosis, and whether race is an independent risk of poor outcome in a population from a community-based cancer database. METHODS A retrospective study on BC among patients aged 18 to 64 years were identified, between 1993 and 2005, using data from the Tumor Registry at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan. Patient's characteristics included age, race, stage at diagnosis, and primary payer. Insurance status was classified as uninsured/Medicaid, private insurance, and Medicare disability (Medicare under age 65). The 5-year overall survival (OS) was calculated, in respect to patient ethnicity, and compared between the three insurance groups using Fisher's exact test. RESULTS A total of 779 patients have been identified with diagnosis of BC. 147 patients were excluded due to incomplete data. 632 patients were analyzed. African Americans were 228 (36%), Caucasians 391 (62%), and other ethnicities 13 (2%). Mean age at diagnosis was (49.21) for African Americans versus (51.35) for Caucasians (p = 0.002). African Americans were more likely to present at advanced stage (III, IV) than Caucasians (17% versus 10%, p = 0.017). However, this difference was not statistically significant when adjusting for insurance status. Although both ethnicities had similar OS in respect of their insurance group, patients with Medicaid/uninsured had significantly lower OS compared to patients with Medicare disability (p = 0.006) and private insurance (p < 0.0001) respectively. CONCLUSIONS Uninsured/Medicaid patients with breast cancer have worse outcome when compared to patients with Medicare or private insurance. Ethnicity is not an independent risk factor of advanced stage at diagnosis and poorer outcome.

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@article{Omaira2011TheIO, title={The impact of ethnicity and insurance status on stage of cancer at diagnosis and overall survival of breast cancer.}, author={Mohammad Omaira and Mohammad Mozayen and R Mushtaq and Khalil Katato}, journal={Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology}, year={2011}, volume={29 27_suppl}, pages={154} }