PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Racial/ethnic minority patients may be less likely than white patients to receive palliative care during breast cancer treatment

Palliative care use increased among all racial/ethnic groups from 2004 to 2020

2023-09-29
(Press-News.org) ORLANDO, Fla. – Despite a steady increase in palliative care utilization from 2004 to 2020, non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and Asian or Pacific Islander patients with metastatic breast cancer were less likely to receive palliative care than non-Hispanic white patients, according to results presented at the 16th AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held September 29-October 2, 2023.

Palliative care consists of treatments or procedures intended to relieve pain and other side effects associated with cancer or cancer therapy. According to the National Cancer Institute’s fact sheet, rapid integration of palliative care into a patient’s care plan can potentially improve mood, quality of life, and overall survival.

In line with these observations, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s (NCCN) guidelines for palliative care state that all cancer patients should be screened to determine their palliative care needs, both at intake and throughout treatment. Further, patients, families, and caregivers should be informed that palliative care is an integral part of their treatment.

“It is essential to identify the needs of these patients, particularly racial/ethnic minority populations, and evaluate how oncology programs can integrate palliative care early into the cancer care continuum while ensuring equitable access,” said Jincong Freeman, MPH, MS, a doctoral student in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Chicago, who presented the study.

Freeman and colleagues wanted to assess how palliative care use in the U.S. has changed over time for patients with metastatic breast cancer. They also wanted to evaluate differences in utilization between different racial and ethnic groups to better understand potential disparities.

The researchers analyzed data from the National Cancer Database (NCDB), which contains deidentified patient data from over 1,500 cancer treatment centers around the U.S. The records used in this study were collected between 2004 and 2020 and consisted of 148,931 patients with de novo metastatic breast cancer—breast cancer that had already metastasized at the time of diagnosis.

The study showed that palliative care use increased significantly over time, from 14.9% in 2004 to 27.6% in 2020. Increases were observed across all racial and ethnic groups, Freeman said.

However, non-Hispanic Black, Asian or Pacific Islander, and Hispanic patients were 13%, 26%, and 35% less likely to receive palliative care, respectively, than non-Hispanic white patients after adjusting for clinical and sociodemographic factors. There was no significant difference in palliative care use between non-Hispanic white patients and patients who identified as American Indian, Alaska Native, or other.

Freeman emphasized that despite the increase, palliative care use remained suboptimal, as over 70% of patients did not receive palliative care in 2020. While the NCDB did not assess the reasons underlying skipped palliative care opportunities, Freeman speculated that lack of awareness, cultural beliefs, and physician preferences may play a role. More research will be necessary to understand the contributing factors, he said.

In order to further increase uptake across demographic groups, Freeman suggested adherence to NCCN’s call to integrate palliative care early into the cancer care continuum for all patients. He also called on physicians and patients to dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings associated with palliative care, such as confusing it with hospice or end-of-life care, or assuming it cannot be combined with active cancer treatment.

“Our findings underscore the importance of promoting the benefits of palliative care and addressing racial/ethnic disparities to improve the quality of life of metastatic breast cancer patients,” Freeman said.

Limitations of this study include potential underreporting or misclassifications of palliative care in the NCDB, necessitating future prospective studies to confirm the findings. Furthermore, while the researchers adjusted for clinical and sociodemographic factors, they did not have information on other factors, such as patients’ symptoms or treatment side effects, that might determine whether palliative care is necessary.

This study was funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Freeman declares no conflicts of interest.

END


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Spanish-speaking men in sexual minority groups may lack knowledge about cancers linked to HPV

2023-09-29
ORLANDO, Fla. – A study found multiple gaps in awareness and knowledge about the connection between the human papillomavirus (HPV) and several types of cancer among Hispanic and Latino men who identified as sexual minorities, according to results presented at the 16th AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held September 29-October 2, 2023. “Sexual minority men are a population group at higher risk for HPV infections and ...

Structural racism may play a role in increased cancer mortality rates among racial minorities

2023-09-29
ORLANDO, Fla. – Structural racism was associated with increased county-level cancer mortality rates among minority populations compared with whites, according to results presented at the 16th AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held September 29-October 2, 2023. “Applying measures that attempt to capture the multiple and compounding ways racism presents in policies, laws, and practices at a population level shows how racism manifests beyond interpersonal interactions to negatively impact cancer outcomes,” said presenter Joelle N. Robinson-Oghogho, ...

Racial and ethnic minorities may be less willing than others to participate in clinical trials

2023-09-29
ORLANDO, Fla. – A survey conducted in one cancer center’s catchment area found that while a majority of respondents would be willing to participate in a clinical trial, members of racial and ethnic minority groups were significantly less likely to participate than non-Hispanic whites, according to results presented at the 16th AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held September 29-October 2, 2023. Reasons to participate ...

NCI-sponsored cancer clinical trials have become more diverse over past two decades

2023-09-29
ORLANDO, Fla. – Compared to the year 2000, a greater proportion of NCI-sponsored early-phase clinical trial participants in 2022 were older, from minority racial/ethnic groups, and lived in historically underrepresented regions of the U.S., according to a study presented at the 16th AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held September 29-October 2, 2023. “Early-phase clinical trials, which primarily evaluate the safety of new therapies, have historically had insufficient representation of racial minorities, women, elderly ...

Research finds DEI initiatives during certain presidencies can affect bottom line

2023-09-29
DURHAM, N.H. — Corporate initiatives focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for vulnerable social groups can change a company in many ways. According to researchers at the University of New Hampshire, how DEI affects a business’ bottom line may depend on the presidential administration and the general public’s perception at the time. They found that DEI initiatives put in place to support a specific social group during a presidential administration perceived as unfriendly to a particular issue related to that community resulted in higher stock prices than during a presidency that had a better relationship ...

Alcohol 'promotion' detracted from success of Women's World Cup

2023-09-29
Broadcasters should avoid focusing on alcohol in crowd shots during major sporting events, such as this summer’s Women’s World Cup final, say researchers. In a new commentary published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (JRSM), researchers from the Technological University of the Shannon and the University of Galway in the Republic of Ireland suggest that the ‘thorny issue of alcohol’ detracted from the success of the record-breaking tournament. The authors, Dr Frank Houghton ...

Solving a sticky, life-threatening problem

2023-09-29
In 2009, a mysterious fungus emerged seemingly from out of thin air, targeting the most vulnerable among us. It sounds like Hollywood, but the fungus in question poses a very real threat. Scientists are scrambling to figure out what makes the life-threatening fungus Candida auris tick--and why even the best infection control protocols in hospitals and other care settings often fail to get rid of it. Researchers at U-M have zeroed in on C. auris’ uncanny ability to stick to everything from skin to catheters and made a startling discovery. The investigative team, led by Teresa O’Meara, Ph.D. of the U-M Medical School Department of Microbiology and ...

A deep look into the progression of Parkinson's Disease

A deep look into the progression of Parkinsons Disease
2023-09-29
Parkinson's disease is a complex neurodegenerative disorder that leads to the deterioration of specific types of neurons in the brain, resulting in a number of motor and non-motor symptoms. It is currently estimated that more than 10 million people in the world are living with Parkinson’s disease, the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s. That number is expected to swell up to 14 million by 2040 in what is being referred to as the Parkinson’s pandemic. One of the key events in Parkinson's disease is the accumulation of a protein called alpha-synuclein inside neurons. That accumulation disrupts the normal functioning ...

Study pinpoints the length of incidental activity linked to health benefits

2023-09-29
A new wearables study tracking over 25,000 people provides the best evidence yet that short bouts of incidental activity, the kind we do as part of daily living, could reduce risk of heart attack, stroke and even premature death – but the length of activity and intensity matters. “From walking up the stairs to speedily mopping the floors; in recent years we’ve come to understand that it is not just structured exercise that is good for our health, but we know very little about how these short bouts of incidental activity translate to health benefits,” said the study’s senior author Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis from the University ...

Increased risk of depression and anxiety when in higher education

2023-09-29
Young people who are in higher education in England face a small increased risk of depression and anxiety, compared to their peers who are not attending higher education, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. The research paper, published in The Lancet Public Health, is the first to find evidence of higher levels of depression and anxiety among higher education students compared with their peers. The authors found that by age 25, the difference had disappeared between graduates and non-graduates. Lead author Dr Gemma Lewis (UCL Psychiatry) said: “In recent years in the UK we have seen an increase in mental ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

UC Irvine receives $15 million NSF grant for integrative movement research

University of Houston engineer Metin Akay featured in study highlighting 50 scientists' contributions to biomedical engineering advancements

JWST captures the end of planet formation

Good news—MS drugs taken while breastfeeding may not affect child development

Programs intended to reduce health insurance premiums may make coverage less affordable for the middle class

PrEP discontinuation in a US national cohort of sexual and gender minority populations, 2017–22

USC Study: Medicare Part D plans increased restrictions on drug coverage

Sacituzumab govitecan plus platinum-based chemotherapy in breast, bladder, and lung carcinomas

Global study unveils "problematic" use of porn

Newly discovered protein prevents DNA triplication

Less ice in the arctic ocean has complex effects on marine ecosystems and ocean productivity

Antarctica’s coasts are becoming less icy

New research shows migrating animals learn by experience

Modeling the origins of life: New evidence for an “RNA World”

Scientists put forth a smarter way to protect a smarter grid

An evolutionary mystery 125 million years in the making

Data science approach to identifying thermal conductivity-related structural factors in amorphous materials

Deciphering the male breast cancer genome

Detection of suicide-related emergencies among children using real-world clinical data: A free webinar from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Editor-in-Chief of Sustainability and Climate Change Madhavi Venkatesan named USA TODAY Woman of the Year for Massachusetts for leading plastic bottle ban efforts

Tests show high-temperature superconducting magnets are ready for fusion

Zika vaccine safe, effective when administered during pregnancy

Firearm ownership is correlated with elevated lead levels in children, study finds

Role of African women and young people in agricultural service provision investigated in new CABI-led study

26th International Conference of the Redox Medicine Society Set for June 2024 in Paris, France

Geologists explore the hidden history of Colorado’s Spanish Peaks

Webb unlocks secrets of one of the most distant galaxies ever seen

3D-printed skin closes wounds and contains hair follicle precursors

Discovered a RNA molecule that helps prevent DNA replication errors

Small and overlooked: Amount of repetitive DNA in blood hints at cancer early

[Press-News.org] Racial/ethnic minority patients may be less likely than white patients to receive palliative care during breast cancer treatment
Palliative care use increased among all racial/ethnic groups from 2004 to 2020