(UPI) — Researchers at the University of Michigan found women with cervical cancer are not receiving appropriate guideline-based care, especially minorities.
An analysis of medical data reveals that less than three out of five women with locally advanced cervical cancer receive guideline-based care, and just over half of black and Hispanic women receive guideline-based care.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend radiation and chemotherapy treatment for locally advanced cervical cancer. Previous research has shown that women with locally advanced cervical cancer whose treatment falls under national guidelines have a better chance of survival regardless of race, ethnicity or stage of cancer.
For the new study, researchers examined medical data collected between 2004 and 2012 by the National Cancer Database on 16,195 women treated for locally advanced cervical cancer.
The researchers found 57 percent of patients received guideline-based care, and rates varied based on race. About 58 percent of white women, 53 percent of black women and 51 percent of Hispanic women received the recommended guideline-based care.
Researchers found an even larger difference in guideline-based care in patients treated at high-volume centers compared to low-volume centers. Over the course of the study, guideline-based care increased, the researchers report, but black and Hispanic patients remained less likely to receive guideline-based care.
“Overall, it’s better for everyone,” Shitanshu Uppal, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan, said in a press release. “We’re closing the gap, but there’s still a gap. Even in 2012, we see a 5 percentage-point gap in guideline-based therapy. Understanding the ‘why’ behind our findings is important — not just for minority populations but for all. We can do better.”