Ethnic disparities are reduced in VA colon cancer patients

Am J Surg. 2010 Nov;200(5):636-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2010.07.020.


Background: Inequalities in access to care have been hypothesized to be the cause of ethnic disparities in colon cancer. The aim of this study was to determine if ethnic disparities in the outcomes of colon cancer patients exist in a system with equal access.

Methods: A review of 214 consecutive patients who underwent elective colon resection for adenocarcinoma at 1 institution was conducted. Statistical analysis was performed using independent t tests and χ² tests. The Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival estimates.

Results: Of the 214 patients who underwent colon cancer resection, 38% (n = 82) were African American, while 62% (n = 132) were Caucasian. There was no significant difference in the stage of disease at presentation and between the mean times from diagnosis to surgical resection for African American and Caucasian patients. Also, there were no differences in survival.

Conclusion: There does not appear to be a disparity in outcomes for colon cancer patients where equal access to medical care exists. This is based on findings of equal stages at presentation, time to referral, and survival among groups.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / ethnology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Aged
  • Black or African American*
  • Colectomy
  • Colonic Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities / ethnology*
  • Hospitals, Veterans*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Veterans*
  • White People*