Differences in Age-distribution, Oncological Diagnoses and Stage in Roma and Non-Roma Cancer Patients Registered at the Outpatient Oncology Department Poprad in 2014 and 2015 – a Retrospective Study


Klin Onkol 2017; 30(1): 41-47. DOI: 10.14735/amko201741.

Background: Roma (Gypsies) constitute the largest ethnic minority in Slovakia. Although some studies have reported a higher prevalence of communicable diseases in Roma, there have been no studies on cancer prevalence in Roma. The aim of this study was to compare differences in age at diagnosis, oncological diagnoses, and stage between Roma and non-Roma patients registered at a single oncology outpatient department in Eastern Slovakia where substantial numbers of Roma patients are treated. Patients and Methods: Roma and non-Roma cancer patients were identified based on the judgement of both the treating physician and nurse. Age at diagnosis, oncology diagnoses, and disease stage were compared between Roma and non-Roma patients. Results: Thirty Roma and 702 non-Roma cancer patients were identified. The age distribution at diagnosis was not statistically different between Roma and non-Roma for both male and female patients. A statistically significant difference was detected in the number of Roma men having lung cancer (risk ratio – RR 0.19; 95% CI 0.13–0.35; p < 0.01), and more Roma women had kidney cancer (RR 0.16; 95% CI 0.05–0.69; p = 0.01). There were numerically more Roma patients diagnosed with TNM stage IV disease. Significantly more Roma men were diagnosed with stage IV disease than with stage I–III disease. Conclusion: The data suggest that differences in cancer type exist between Roma and non-Roma patients. Larger population-based studies directed at analyzing for differences between Roma and non-Roma cancer patients are warranted.


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