Racial and ethnic disparities occur in many areas of the health care management system in the United States. These disparities include disease incidence, access to health and medical services, treatments provided, and disease outcomes. Health care delivery organizations have limited resources. Encounters between patients and providers in health care delivery organizations typically are cross-cultural. Access to care, quality of care, and equity may be affected by limited resources and cross-cultural encounters. This impacts the diagnosis, treatments provided, and outcomes, with African-American patients faring poorly compared with white patients. African Americans are 15% more likely to develop cancer than whites and are about 34% more likely to die of cancer than whites in the United States. The purpose of this study was to determine and compare the characteristics of African-American patients and white patients with carcinoma of the head and neck at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, an equal-access facility, reporting similarities and disparities in disease stage at the time of diagnosis, treatment received, and patient outcomes.
Copyright 2001 American Cancer Society.