Treatment disparities in hispanic rectal cancer patients: A SEER database study

Steve R. Martinez, Steven L. Chen, Anton J. Bilchik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Although Hispanics demonstrate a low overall incidence of rectal cancer, mortality rates have not decreased relative to non-Hispanic whites. To determine if this was in part due to racial disparities in care, we compared rates of neoadjuvant therapy and sphincter-preserving surgery between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites diagnosed with rectal cancer using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. The study population was comprised of 2,573 Hispanics (55.4% male) and 28,395 non-Hispanic whites (56.6% male). Rates of neoadjuvant radiation were 13.5 per cent for Hispanics compared with 10.4 per cent for non-Hispanic whites (P < 0.001). In a Cox proportional hazards model adjusting for nodal status, tumor size, and T stage, non-Hispanic whites were significantly less likely to have received neoadjuvant therapy (hazard ratio, 0.72; P < 0.001; 95% confidence interval 0.63-0.83). Rates of sphincter preservation were 67 per cent for Hispanics and 70 per cent for non-Hispanic whites (P = 0.003). Non-Hispanic whites were significantly more likely to have received a sphincter-preserving operation than Hispanics (hazard ratio, 1.076; P = 0.019; 95% confidence interval 1.02-1.27). We conclude that Hispanics are significantly more likely to receive neoadjuvant therapy but are less likely to receive sphincter-sparing operations for rectal cancer compared with non-Hispanic whites. Further studies are required to assess the impact of these treatment disparities on patient outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)906-908
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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