Objectives: The incidence of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) has been steadily increasing. Racial differences in the incidence and survival are mostly unknown. This study examines the racial differences and the underlying causes.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective, population-based study using datasets from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cancer registry and SEER data linked with Medicare claims (SEER-Medicare). We examined the incidence rates and the effects of patient demographics, clinical characteristics, and socioeconomic factors on survival.
Results: Of the 15,786 and 1731 cases from SEER and SEER-Medicare, 1991 and 163 were blacks, respectively. We found that blacks had higher NET incidence for all stages, with the largest difference noted in the local stage (4.3 vs 2.6 per 100,000 in whites). We found worse survival for distant-stage black patients, although they more often had clinical factors typically associated with better prognosis in NETs. However, they were also found to have significant unfavorable differences in socioeconomic and sociodemographic factors.
Conclusions: Blacks have higher incidence of NETs and worse survival compared with other races, especially whites. The influences of neighborhood socioeconomic, sociodemographic, and marital status suggest that social determinants, support mechanisms, and access to health care may be contributing factors.