MONDAY, Jan. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Minority and poor
patients are more likely to have advanced thyroid cancer when
they're diagnosed than white and richer patients do, a new study
Researchers analyzed data from nearly 26,000 patients in
California who were diagnosed with thyroid cancer between 1999 and
2008. Of those patients, 57 percent were white, 24 percent were
Hispanic, 15 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander and 4 percent were
Poor patients in all racial groups had more advanced disease at
the time of diagnosis than those with higher incomes, the
researchers said. Black patients were more likely to have advanced
disease than those in any other racial group.
Even after the researchers adjusted for age, sex, health
insurance and socioeconomic status, minority groups still were more
likely than whites to have advanced disease at the time of
Hispanics and Asians/Pacific Islanders seemed to survive longer
than patients in other racial groups, even when they were diagnosed
at a later stage of thyroid cancer. Further research is needed to
learn why this is the case, the researchers said.
They also found that patients who were poor and uninsured or
covered by Medicaid were more likely to have advanced cancer than
those with private insurance.
The study appears in the January issue of the
Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.
"Race, social status, wealth and health-insurance coverage make a difference in how far a thyroid cancer has advanced by the time a patient first sees a doctor," study author Dr. Avital Harari, an assistant professor of general surgery in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a university news release.
The researchers said they hope their findings will lead to
efforts to reduce disparities, provide earlier care and improve the
prevention of thyroid cancer.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about