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01.12.2017 | Review | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Journal of Ovarian Research 1/2017

Racial health disparities in ovarian cancer: not just black and white

Journal of Ovarian Research > Ausgabe 1/2017
Sanjeev K. Srivastava, Aamir Ahmad, Orlandric Miree, Girijesh Kumar Patel, Seema Singh, Rodney P. Rocconi, Ajay P. Singh


Ovarian cancer (OC) is the most lethal gynecological malignancy, which disproportionately affects African American (AA) women. Lack of awareness and socioeconomic factors are considered important players in OC racial health disparity, while at the same time, some recent studies have brought focus on the genetic basis of disparity as well. Differential polymorphisms, mutations and expressions of genes have been reported in OC patients of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Combined, it appears that neither genetic nor the socioeconomic factors alone might explain the observed racially disparate health outcomes among OC patients. Rather, a more logical explanation would be the one that takes into consideration the combination and/or the interplay of these factors, perhaps even including some environmental ones. Hence, in this article, we attempt to review the available information on OC racial health disparity, and provide an overview of socioeconomic, environmental and genetic factors, as well as the epigenetic changes that can act as a liaison between the three. A better understanding of these underlying causes will help further research on effective cancer management among diverse patient population and ultimately narrow health disparity gaps.
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