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Researchers Find Low Colorectal Cancer Survival in Nevada

People that are diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC) – the third greatest cancer burden in the United States – have the lowest survival rates in Nevada when compared to those diagnosed in other Western states, according to a study published in PLOS One, a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal.

The objective of the study was to examine the role of the determinants of CRC survival and compare survival rates to other Western states, such as Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Researchers used data from the Nevada Central Cancer Registry and analyzed a total of 12,413 CRC cases that occurred from 2003 to 2013. It was found that five-year survival rates were at 56 percent for males, and 59.5 percent for females, which were both significantly lower when compared to the national five-year survival rate of 65.1 and 66.5 percent, respectively. The study also found that Southern Nevadans were at a 17 percent higher risk of death from CRC than their counterparts in Northwestern Nevada.

“The results can make a difference because it can inform the health care delivery system in the State of Nevada, such as in their recommendations for treatment,” Paulo S. Pinheiro, Ph.D., professor of public health at the Miller School of Medicine, who co-authored the study.

The low survival rate among Southern Nevadans could be partly explained by the fact that many patients did not receive stage-appropriate treatment. Researchers noted that this observed health disparity warrants public health attention.

This study can help clinicians, public health professionals, and relevant stakeholders in developing preventative measures, as well as to continue to study why Nevada has different results when compared to neighboring Western states.

The study was co-authored by Dr. Pinheiro, as well as by Karen Callahan, Ph.D., Chad Cross, Ph.D., and Francisco Sy, M.D., M.S., Dr.Ph., from the University of Nevada, and Carmen Ponce, M.D., M.P.H., from the Nevada Cancer Registry.

Written by Amanda Torres
Published on October 2, 2019