In a study of patients with anal cancer, living in low median household income areas was linked with an increased risk of early death. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings suggest that socioeconomic inequalities may affect cancer outcomes, especially for highly treatable and curable tumors such as anal cancer.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the anus (SCCA) accounts for 8,200 new cancer cases and more than 1,000 cancer-related deaths in the United States annually. Its incidence has been notably rising in recent decades, possibly related to changing trends in sexual behavior combined with known risk factors, such as human papilloma virus and tobacco smoking. Although advances in the treatment of SCCA have improved survival and cure rates, the benefits may not be shared uniformly among patients of disparate socioeconomic status.
To investigate, a team led by Daniel Becker, MD, of Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health examined whether area-based median household income predicts survival of patients with SCCA. Their analysis included 9,550 patients with SCCA from 2004-2013 listed in the US Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry. Socioeconomic status was defined by census-tract median household income level, and divided into
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