Racial Differences in Breast Cancer Surgery

Jan 27, 2019
Study Examines Racial Differences in Time to Breast Cancer Surgery in Military Health System

Bottom Line: Less access to care and lower insurance coverage are among the reasons for racial disparities in breast cancer survival in the United States. Eligible beneficiaries in the U.S. Military Health System have insurance and access to care. This study examined whether racial differences existed in time to surgery and whether any differences in that time might explain racial disparities in overall survival between nearly 1,000 black and 3,900 white women diagnosed with breast cancer in the Military Health System. Researchers report black women had greater estimated time to surgery than white women but that those delays don’t appear to explain racial disparities in overall survival. The clinical significance of differences in time to surgery in this study is unclear and more research is needed to understand racial disparities in breast cancer treatment and survival.

Authors: Kangmin Zhu, M.D., Ph.D., Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Rockville, Maryland, and coauthors