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News Scan for Jul 15, 2022

Cancer treatment delays spotlighted in minority groups amid COVID-19

Survey results published yesterday in JAMA Network Open reveal that, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Black and Latino adults in the United States have experienced more delays in cancer care and more worries about treatment costs than their White peers.

A team led by Stanford University researchers deployed the 74-question online survey of 1,639 cancer patients from 50 US states, the District of Columbia, and five territories from Sep 1, 2020, to Jan 12, 2021.

A total of 1,240 patients (75.7%) responded. Median patient age was 60 years, 60.0% were women, 42.5% were White, 21.5% were Black, 15.0% were Asian, 18.7% were Latino, 2.3% were American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, another race, or multiracial.

A higher proportion of Black (75.6%) and Latino (80.2%) participants and those of other races (75.9%) experienced care modifications, including delayed clinic visits, lab tests, and imaging, as well as a change in care location than White participants (57.1%). A higher proportion of Black (98.0%) than White respondents (84.1%) who had care modifications said their clinic or physician requested the modifications.

Relative to White participants, Black and Latino respondents were more likely to report extreme concerns that the care modifications would worsen their cancer outcomes (odds ratios [ORs], 3.57 and 2.20, respectively).

Black and Latino respondents were more likely to experience involuntary delayed cancer treatments (ORs, 6.13 and 2.77, respectively), and, for Black patients, those delays were more likely to last longer than 4 weeks (OR, 3.13). These respondents also had greater chances of food insecurity (ORs, 4.32 and 6.13, respectively), as

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