Colorectal cancer (CRC) – the third greatest cancer burden in the United States – has the lowest survival rates in Nevada when compared to other Western states, according to a study published in PLOS One, a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal. The study was co-authored by Dr. Paulo S. Pinheiro, professor of public health at the University of Miami Department of Public Health Sciences, Dr. Karen Callahan, Dr. Chad Cross, and Dr. Francisco Sy from the University of Nevada, and Dr. Carmen Ponce from the Nevada Cancer Registry.
The objective of the study was to examine the determinants of CRC mortality rates compared to other Western states, such as Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Researchers used data from the Nevada Central Cancer Registry from 2003 to 2013 and analyzed a total of 12,413 CRC cases.
It was found that five-year survival rates were at 56 percent for males, which is considered low. Survival rates for the same time frame were at 59.5 percent for females, which was significantly lower when compared to the national five-year survival rate of 65.1 and 66.5 percent. The study also found that Southern Nevadans were at a 17 percent higher risk of death from CRC than their counterparts in Northwestern Nevada.
Survival rates were low for every race/ethnicity in Nevada, which could be partly explained by the fact that many patients did not receive stage-appropriate treatment. Researchers noted that this observed health disparity warrants public health attention.
This study can help clinicians, public health professionals, and relevant stakeholders in developing preventative measures, as well as to continue to study why Nevada has different results when compared to neighboring Western states.Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on September 20