May 16, 2016
(Reuters) – When women have advanced breast cancer, the amount of comfort-oriented care they receive at the end of life may depend on the color of their skin, a small U.S. study suggests. Researchers examined data from Medicare, the U.S. government health program for the elderly, for 752 white and 131 black patients with final-stage breast cancer who died from 2007 to 2012. Black women were 49 percent less likely to receive certain medications for symptom relief than white patients, and they were also 14 percent less likely to get hospice care aimed at improving quality of life in their final days, the study found.
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