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Recently published research from the University of Arizona Health Sciences shows that advanced-stage kidney cancer is more common in Hispanic Americans and Native Americans than non-Hispanic Whites, and that both Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in Arizona are at increased risk of dying from the disease.
"We knew from our previous research that Hispanic Americans and Native Americans are more likely to have kidney cancer than non-Hispanic whites," said Ken Batai, Ph.D., a research fellow in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the UArizona Cancer Center and a scientist Associate Professor of Urology at the College of Medicine – Tucson. "But we also know that around 90% of the Hispanic population in Arizona are Mexicans – either born in the US or Mexico – and we don't think that subgroup is well represented in the national data."
With funding from the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Batai, a team of researchers from the UArizona Cancer Center, examined data from the National Cancer Database and the Arizona Cancer Registry to look for differences in surgical treatment for kidney cancer. They also investigated the possibility that delayed treatments could lead to advanced kidney cancer, which has been linked to high death rates among Hispanic Americans and Native Americans.
An article, "Renal Cell Carcinoma Health Differences in Stage and Mortality among Alaska and Hispanic Americans: Comparing Data from the National Cancer Database and the Arizona Cancer Registry," was published in the journal Cancers.
The study found that Arizona's Hispanic Americans were about twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to have advanced kidney cancer and nearly twice as likely to have death from early-stage kidney cancer. Similarly, Native Americans are about 30% more likely to have advanced-stage kidney cancer and 30% more likely to die from early-stage kidney cancer.
These results suggest that observed differences in mortality risk for kidney cancer cannot be explained by delays in treatment.
The researchers used state data to divide Hispanic Americans into different subgroups, including American-born Mexican Americans. They found that this group had a three times higher risk of death compared to non-Hispanic white Americans. The national cancer statistics do not break down subgroups within the general Hispanic population. Therefore, risks for US-born Mexican Americans living in Arizona may be underestimated in national coverage.
Dr. Batai attributes the discrepancy between national and state data to the data collection process. The National Cancer Database is based on hospital reports while the State Register is population based. Many small rural hospitals and clinics may not register with the National Cancer Database, which could explain the misrepresentation of Hispanic Americans in Arizona.
"As of now, there is no research documenting this inequality among Hispanic Americans," said Dr. Batai. "This can be very useful information to share with first responders and urologists who may not already know."
"Careful documentation of these differences sets us apart as a comprehensive cancer center," said Dr. Joann Sweasy, Director of the Cancer Center and Founding Chair of Nancy C. and Craig M. Berge. "Dr. Batai is not only embedded in our center in prevention, but also part of our team for clinical research in the genitourinary field. This research benefits both perspectives that are crucial for us to meet the needs of our patients."
The research could advance further investigation into why Arizona’s Hispanic and Native American populations are at increased risk of kidney cancer.
"We know that these populations also have a higher prevalence of diabetes and blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for kidney cancer," said Dr. Batai. "As we continue to investigate differences in surgical treatment of kidney cancer in these groups, we are investigating whether there is a biological basis for differences in kidney cancer."
The study measures the specific local gastric cancer risk among ethnic groups
Celina I. Valencia et al., Renal Cell Carcinoma Health Differences by Stage and Mortality Among American Indians / Native Americans: Comparing Data from the National Cancer Database and Arizona Cancer Registry, Cancers (2021). DOI: 10.3390 / Cancer13050990
University of Arizona Health Sciences
Kidney cancer risk is higher for Spanish and Native Americans in Arizona (May 6, 2021).
accessed on May 6, 2021
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