Racial Differences in Urinary Bladder Cancer in the United States - Expert Commentary

To achieve progress against Urinary bladder cancer (UBC), studies are needed to understand to understand the racial differences in the incidence, presentation, outcomes, and biology of UBC. However, there is a lack of studies addressing this knowledge gap.

Wang et al. recently published a comprehensive study of the racial differences in the clinical characteristics of UBC patients in the United States in the journal Scientific Reports. The investigators collected information on patients diagnosed with UBC from 1972-2014 using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database.

The researchers identified important patterns. Overall, non-Hispanic White patients had the highest incidence rate, followed by Black, Hispanic white, and Asian and Pacific-Islander patients. Non-Hispanic Whites were found to have the highest rates of surgery, Asian and Pacific-Islanders had the highest rates of surgery and chemotherapy, while Black patients had the highest rates of no treatment. The study also found that non-Hispanic White patients had the longest median survival (51 months) while black patients had the shortest median survival time (33 months).

This important study highlights the importance of studying the diversity of clinical characteristics and in outcomes in UBC patients in patients with different racial backgrounds. Understanding these patterns is a crucial first step to investigate their relationship to genetic differences and environmental exposures. This knowledge is essential to begin address healthcare disparities.

Written By: Bishoy M. Faltas, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine at New York Presbyterian hospital 

Read the Abstract

Wang Y, Chang Q, Li Y. Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 21;8(1):12521. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29987-2. PMID: 30131523
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