High-Quality Cancer Care Erases Racial Disparities in Colon Cancer Survival,

High-Quality Cancer Care Erases Racial Disparities in Colon Cancer Survival,

shutterstock_126693335A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has demonstrated that the gap between African-American colon cancer patients’ survival and white patients can be reduced upon the delivery of evidence-based care, including hospital-based care, outpatient services, and rehabilitation.

It is known that even though overall colon cancer rates are decreasing in the United States, there are significant disparities between survival rates between African-American colon cancer patients and white patients diagnosed with the same malignancy.

In their study, researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine assessed the records of over 30,000 patients who had been diagnosed with colon cancer and had received treatment for their disease.

The team then compared the frequencies of delivery of care (as advocated by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)) for patients diagnosed with colon cancer within integrated and non-integrated health care systems.

The analysis showed that all patients treated among integrated health systems had improved survival rates and received more evidence-based care.

“For 20 years, the NCCN Guidelines have been recognized as the standard of cancer care in the United States. NCCN combines evidence, experience, and choice so that multidisciplinary cancer treatment teams—including patients—are empowered to make informed decisions about cancer care. NCCN applauds the Stanford researchers for taking a critical look at cancer care from the health care system perspective and recognizing the significance of transparent, evidence-based care,” Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN, said in a news release.

The NCCN Guidelines are freely available at the NCCN site, and can be consulted by physicians or patients without any charges. They account for a complete set of evidence-based treatment recommendations with all the available information concerning decisions and interventions that can be applied to the majority of all known-cancers.

“The big takeaway in this paper is that…following evidence-based guidelines gives all patients the best chance for survival. Our work also suggests a real opportunity to equalize these racial differences,” lead author Kim Rhoads, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Surgery and a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute, explained in a Stanford news release.

“As a network of 25 of the world’s leading integrated cancer centers, NCCN understands the value of comprehensive cancer care,” Dr. Carlson concluded. “The high caliber of patient care at these treatment centers is mirrored in the research performed by their investigators, together leading to superior care and outcomes.”

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