Blacks With Cancer More Inclined to Exhaust Funds to Prolong Life: Study
TUESDAY April 26, 2011 -- White patients with lung or colorectal cancer are less willing than patients of other races or ethnicities to use up their personal financial resources to prolong their life, a new study finds.
U.S. researchers analyzed data from 4,214 participants in the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance study of patients with newly diagnosed lung or colorectal cancer.
The patients were interviewed about various aspects of their care, including their willingness to deplete their personal financial resources for life-prolonging treatment rather than receive less costly treatment that would not extend their lives as long.
Those who said they would spend all their money to live longer included 80 percent of black patients, 72 percent of Asians, 69 percent of Hispanics and 54 percent of whites.
After researchers accounted for factors such as income, disease stage, quality of life, patients' age, patients' perceived time left to live and other medical illnesses, the researchers determined that black patients were 2.4 times more likely than whites to say they'd exhaust their personal finances to extend life.
Hispanic and Asian patients were also less inclined to spend all of their money than blacks, but more likely than whites to do so.
The study appears online April 26 in the journal Cancer.
Further research is needed to determine the reasons for these differences among the races, said Michelle Martin of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and colleagues in a journal news release. Learning more about this issue may lead to cancer care that consistently reflects patient values and preferences, they added.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute offers fact sheets about coping with cancer.
Posted: April 2011