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Black kidney cancer patients have high fatality rate

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

According to recent research published online by the journal Cancer, black patients with kidney cancer are more likely to die from their condition than their white counterparts.

Wong-Ho Chow, Ph.D., and her colleagues from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center studied data from nearly 40,000 patients who suffered from a common form of kidney cancer known as renal cell carcinoma. They found that almost 72.6 percent of the white patients had a survival rate of at least five years, whereas only 68 percent of black patients survived that long. The higher survival rate of the white subjects was present in all of the subgroups of gender, age, tumor stage or size, tumor subtype and type of surgical treatment.

The researchers noted that there may be underlying factors that influence these numbers that still need to be investigated.

"We cannot rule out the possibility that other factors not measured in our study - such as obesity, high blood pressure, access to care, and genetic susceptibility - may be contributing to the persistent disparities," said Chow.

Kidney cancer symptoms and diagnosis
According to, sometimes kidney cancer does not have any noticeable symptoms, but as it progresses a person may start to experience blood in the urine, low back pain on one side of the body, fatigue, weight loss or a fever that does not improve within a couple of weeks. Many times these same symptoms may also be the cause of other, less threatening diseases.

The source also notes that a urine alysis lab test may find traces of blood that are too small to be detected by the human eye, and other examinations can find traces of microscopic cancer cells as well.

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