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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

George Mason: Study Finds Disparities in Timing and Type of Treatment in Colorectal Cancer Patients – Analysis of Georgia Cancer Registry Data Suggests That Hospital Characteristics Influence Overall Treatment and Survival

In a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, associate professor Dr. Cara Frankenfeld of the George Mason College of Health and Human Services found racial disparities in how the presence of cancer-related diagnostic and treatment technology is related to the time-to-treatment for whites and blacks with colorectal cancer (CRC) in Georgia.

The study titled “Racial Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Time-to-Treatment and Survival Time in Relation to Diagnosing Hospital Cancer-Related Diagnostic and Treatment Capabilities” evaluated the time-to-treatment and survival rates of patients in relation to cancer-related technologies of the diagnosing hospital using colorectal tumor-level data from the Georgia Cancer Registry merged with hospital-level data from the American Hospital Association from 2010-2015.  There were 11,453 colon tumors and 4,591 rectosigmoid/rectal tumors included in the analyses.

The study found that factors such as hospital capacity or size indicators (total surgical operations, licensed beds, and emergency room visits for example) were associated with earlier treatment in white patients, but not black patients. Higher counts of treatment related technologies were also associated with better survival for whites but not blacks. Despite disparities in other factors, availability of virtual colonoscopy technologies emerged as a technology related to survival favorability in both blacks and whites.

Authors on the study included Dr. Nirup Menon and Dr. Timothy F. Leslie also from George Mason University. The study was funded by George Mason University Provost Multidisciplinary Award.

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