Racial differences and disparities in cancer care and outcomes: where's the rub?

Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2012 Jul;21(3):417-37, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.soc.2012.03.012.


Despite a profusion of studies over the past several years documenting racial differences in cancer outcomes, there is a paucity of data as to the root causes underlying these observations. This article reviews work to date focusing on black-white differences in cancer outcomes, explores potential mechanisms underlying these differences, and identifies patient, physician, and health care system factors that may account for persistent racial disparities in cancer care. Research strategies to elucidate the relative influence of these various factors and policy recommendations to reduce persistent disparities are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Delayed Diagnosis
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology