Study: Black Women, Uninsured Patients Receive Worse Ovarian Cancer Care

Study: Black Women, Uninsured Patients Receive Worse Ovarian Cancer CareBlack women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and are uninsured or covered by Medicare and individuals who have annual incomes lower than $35,000 are more likely to receive substandard healthcare, so says a new study.

According to HealthDay, the researchers of the study also noted that the racial and socioeconomic differences in the care given to ovarian cancer patients also correlate with lower survival odds for five years after being diagnosed with the disease.

In the study, researchers analyzed more than 47,000 treatment cases for ovarian cancer that occurred between 1998 and 2002. Results showed fewer than half of the women, or 44 percent, were given treatment that would fall along guidelines established by a group of top cancer centers around the world, and also were not up to par with standards held by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Researchers found that black women, women who had no health insurance or were receiving Medicare coverage and poorer women were less likely to receive these recommended forms of treatment.

However, researchers stated that even among women who did receive the recommended care, racial disparities still existed. Results indicate black women's five-year survival rate was eight percentage points lower than white women, at 33 percent and 41 percent, respectively. The study was presented during the Society of Gynecologic Oncology annual meeting in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, March 27.

According to the U.S. National Conference of State Legislatures, health disparities indicate there is a lack of efficiency within the nation's healthcare system that can lead to additional costs. Several factors make up the term health disparities, including racial, ethnic and socioeconomic differences, which can lead to poor quality healthcare.