Whites in the United States are nine times more likely than blacks to get Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare cancer of the bone and soft tissue, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
They said among whites who get the hard-to-treat cancer, men are more likely to die from it than women.
Earlier studies have hinted that racial differences may play a role in the rates of Ewing’s sarcoma, which usually strikes during puberty, when bones are growing rapidly.
To confirm that race plays a role, Dr. Sean Scully of the University of Miami analyzed patient information from a large National Cancer Institute registry of cancer statistics in the United States.
They identified individuals diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma from 1973 to 2005 and analyzed various patient- and cancer-related characteristics.
They found that whites had the highest incidence of Ewing’s sarcoma, with a rate of 155 cases per 100,000 people.
That was followed by Asians/Pacific Islanders, with 82 cases per 100,000, and blacks, with 17 cases per 100,000 people.
The reasons for these racial and gender differences are not clear, Scully’s team reported in the journal Cancer.
They said more studies identifying the causes of these differences could lead to improved treatments for patients.