Uterine cancer rates are rising in the United States, particularly among black and Asian women, according to a new study that also found black women are more likely to die of the disease.
Researchers analyzed more than 120,000 cases of uterine cancer diagnosed in the United States between 2000 and 2011, and found that rates rose among all racial and ethnic groups. But rates increased fastest, at 2.5 percent a year, among black and Asian women.
Black women also had higher rates of aggressive uterine cancer than Asian, Hispanic and white women, and death rates for aggressive uterine cancer were more than 1.5 times higher among black women than among white women.
Death rates for aggressive uterine cancer were similar or lower among Asian and Hispanic women, compared to white women.
A five-year analysis found that black women had poorer survival rates than white women at every stage of diagnosis. Five-year survival rates among Asian and Hispanic women were similar or higher, compared with white women.
The study was published Aug. 19 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Study author Michele Cote said in a journal news release that the data suggest that differences in patients’ outcomes persist even when the type of tumor and its stage at diagnosis are accounted for. Cote is associate professor of oncology at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.
“It was somewhat surprising that the [uterine] cancer survival disparity we identified was limited to non-Hispanic black women, because many of the challenges previously linked to worse outcomes, including low socioeconomic status and high rates of obesity and diabetes, are also experienced by Hispanic women, but that population did not have poor outcomes,” she said.
Cote said researchers are interested in investigating whether there are molecular differences in tumors from women of different races or ethnicities who are diagnosed at the same stage of disease.
The U.S. Office on Women’s Health has more on uterine cancer.