-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Older black and Hispanic
male cancer survivors are less likely than their white peers to see
a specialist or to receive basic preventive care such as
vaccinations, a new study of American men finds.
However, these racial/ethnic disparities in health care were not
evident among younger male cancer survivors.
For the study, researchers analyzed U.S. National Health
Interview Survey data from more than 2,700 male cancer survivors 18
and older and compared them in four areas: primary and specialist
care visits, and flu and pneumonia vaccinations.
Among older survivors (65 and older), about 39 percent of blacks
and 42 percent of Hispanics did not see a specialist, compared with
26 percent of whites, the investigators found. About 40 percent of
blacks and Hispanics did not receive a flu shot, compared with 22
percent of whites.
The Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers also found
that 51 percent of blacks and 59 percent of Hispanics did not
receive the pneumonia vaccine, compared with 29 percent of whites,
according to the study published online ahead of print in the
American Journal of Public Health.
"Overall, our results suggest that older minority male cancer survivors may need specific support to ensure they receive necessary post-treatment care," lead author Nynikka Palmer, a postdoctoral fellow, said in a Wake Forest Baptist news release.
"These findings are consistent with other reports of health care use among cancer survivors," Palmer said, "and suggest there may be differences in types of Medicare health plans, supplemental insurance and out-of-pocket costs among older survivors that could be contributing to this disparity."
Palmer added that the study results are cause for concern
"because regular follow-up care is important to monitor for
recurrence, new cancers, and late and long-term effects of cancer
and its treatment," particularly for patients with other health
Further research is needed to identify other factors that may
influence racial/ethnic disparities among older male cancer
survivors, such as patients' beliefs about care after cancer and
patient-doctor communication, the study authors noted in the news
The American Cancer Society offers
tips for cancer survivors.
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