Hematopoietic and lymphoproliferative cancer among male veterans using the Veterans Administration medical system
The Veterans Administration (VA) Medical System includes more than 180 hospitals and serves about 13 to 14 percent of the nation's 28 million veterans. VA patients tend to be from lower income groups, and the vast majority (almost 99 percent) are male. Previous research has shown that these patients are at higher risk for some solid tumors than members of the general population. These tumors include lung cancer and esophageal cancer, which most likely reflect differences in behavioral risk factors such as smoking. A study was conducted to determine the prevalence among VA patients of cancers of the blood and lymphatic system. Tabulations of data from the VA system were compared with data from SEER (surveillance, epidemiology, and end results), a major program of cancer data surveys in the US. VA patients had 93 percent increase in the risk of Hodgkin's disease and a 20 percent increase in the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. The total risk for all leukemias was 40 greater among the VA patients than in the general population. Similarly, the risk of multiple myeloma was 51 percent higher among VA patients. VA patients have roughly twice the rate of smoking and chronic alcohol abuse than US men in general. However, no clear relationship between alcohol abuse and diseases such as leukemia has been demonstrated. The same is not true for smoking, which has been identified as significant risk factor for leukemia by several studies. It is thought that this behavior may contribute substantially to the excess in hematologic cancers among patients of the VA system. The present study also confirmed an increased risk for myeloma among black men that was more than double the risk for whites. The cause of this racial difference in the risk for multiple myeloma is not known. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: Cancer
Racial differences in breast cancer survival: the interaction of socioeconomic status and tumor biology
Black women, especially younger black women, appear to be more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. Researchers evaluated the factors associated with survival in 10,500 women with invasive breast cancer of whom 82% were white and 18% black. Black women were more likely to have later stage, more aggressive cancers. After controlling for factors related to tumor stage and aggressiveness, socioeconomic status, and type of care, black women under 50 years of age were two-thirds more likely and black women older than 50 were one-third more likely to die than similarly-aged white women.
Publication Name: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
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