Socio-economic status may affect patients with anal cancer

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New York, March 12 (IANS) Researchers have found that patients with anal cancer, living in low median household income areas are at an increased risk of early death.

According to the researchers, squamous cell carcinoma of the anus (SCCA) accounts for 8,200 new cancer cases and more than 1,000 cancer-related deaths in the US annually.

“Our findings reveal that US residents who have anal cancer and live in areas of poverty have worse survival than those who live in more affluent areas, even after accounting for differences in age, stage, and race,” said co-author of the study, Daniel Becker from NYU Langone Medical Center.

For the study, published in the journal Cancer, researchers examined whether area-based median household income predicts survival of patients with SCCA.

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Their analysis included 9,550 patients with SCCA from 2004-2013 listed in the US Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry.

Socio-economic status was defined by census-tract median household income level, and divided into quintiles.

The researchers found that patients living in areas with lower median household income had worse overall survival and cancer-specific survival compared with those in highest income areas.

From the lowest to the higher income levels, the risk of dying was 32 per cent, 31 per cent, 19 per cent and 16 per cent higher for patients when compared with patients in the very highest quintile of median household income.

When considering only deaths due to cancer, increased risks ranged from 34 per cent down to 22 per cent for the lowest to higher incomes.

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Other factors such as older age, black race, male gender, unmarried status, earlier year of diagnosis, higher grade, and later stage were also associated with worse cancer-specific survival.

“To provide high quality healthcare for all, it will be important to get a better understanding of the factors limiting the successful treatment of anal cancer,” Becker added.

–IANS

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