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Hispanics and Colorectal Cancer

May 2004

Hispanics present with colorectal cancer at a younger age and with more advanced disease than other ethnic groups, a study of 453 patients treated by Health Science Center physicians shows. The study is one of the first to examine colorectal cancer treatment outcomes in Hispanics.

Hispanics were diagnosed with colorectal cancer five years earlier on the average than Caucasians (53.6 years of age for Hispanics versus 58.5 for Caucasians) and one year earlier than blacks (53.6 versus 54.5).

Hispanics also fared more poorly in terms of disease severity and survival. Stage IV cancers were diagnosed in 32 percent of Hispanics versus 18 percent of Caucasians. Hispanic patients lived an average of 48 months after surgery; Caucasians younger than 55 survived nearly twice as long (92 months).

"This touches on the need for colorectal screening in the Hispanic population," said Morton Kahlenberg, M.D., head of surgical oncology at the Health Science Center.

Study co-authors were Dimitrios Stefanidis, M.D.; Jennifer Miranda, M.D.; Adrian Wong, M.D.; Charles Thomas Jr., M.D.; Dennis Rousseau Jr., M.D.; and Brad Pollock, M.P.H., Ph.D.

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