Racial disparities in stage-specific gastric cancer: analysis of results from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program database

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The incidence of gastric cancer is declining in western countries but continues to represent a serious health problem worldwide, especially in Asia and among Asian Americans. This study aimed to investigate ethnic disparities in stage-specific gastric cancer, including differences in incidence, treatment and survival. The cohort study was analyzed using the data set of patients with gastric cancer registered in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program from 2004 to 2013. Among 54,165 patients with gastric cancer, 38,308 were whites (70.7%), 7546 were blacks (13.9%), 494 were American Indian/Alaskan Natives (0.9%) and 7817 were Asians/Pacific Islanders (14.4%). Variables were patient demographics, disease characteristics, surgery/radiation treatment, overall survival (OS) and cause specific survival (CSS). Asians/Pacific Islanders demonstrated the highest incidence rates for gastric cancer compared with other groups and had the greatest decline in incidence during the study period (13.03 to 9.28 per 100,000/year), as well as the highest percentage of patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) early stage gastric cancer. There were significant differences between groups in treatment across stages I–IV (all p<0.001); Asians/Pacific Islanders had the highest rate of surgery plus radiation (45.1%). Significant differences were found in OS and CSS between groups (p<0.001); OS was highest among Asians/Pacific Islanders. Multivariate analysis revealed that age, race, grade, stage, location, and second primary cancer were valid prognostic factors for survival. Marked ethnic disparities exist in age-adjusted incidence of primary gastric cancer, with significant differences between races in age, gender, histological type, grade, AJCC stage, location, second cancer, treatment and survival.

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