Race does not impact colorectal cancer treatment or outcomes with equal access

Monique O. Hassan, Zachary Arthurs, Vance Y. Sohn, Scott R. Steele*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Ethnicity is implicated as a factor for disparate outcomes in colorectal cancer. We sought to evaluate this relationship at a military medical center organized to deliver equitable health care. Methods: Retrospective analysis of colorectal cancer patients comparing demographics, grade, American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage, and adjuvant therapy. Results: From January 1994 to January 2004, 398 patients were treated with colorectal cancer (74 [19%] nonwhites). Comparatively, nonwhites were younger and had fewer stage II tumors with a increased proportion of stage III tumors (P < .01). With a median follow-up period of 52 (0-151) months, there were no disparities in surgical resection, adjuvant therapy, or disease recurrence. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed no disparity in disease-free and cancer-specific survival (P = .585 and P = .132); Cox regression revealed increased age and AJCC stage III as the only independent predictors of lower survival (P < .05). Conclusions: Ethnicity was associated with differences in age and AJCC stage at presentation. In an equitable health care system, these differences did not impact patients' treatment or survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-490
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Access to care
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Disparity
  • Ethnicity
  • Treatment outcomes


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