Background: Hispanic patients have a higher incidence of gastric cancer when compared to non-Hispanics. Outlining clinicodemographic characteristics and assessing the impact of ethnicity on stage-specific survival may identify opportunities to improve gastric cancer care for this population. Methods: Patients with gastric cancer in the US Safety Net Collaborative (2012-2014) were retrospectively reviewed. Demographics, clinicopathologic characteristics, operative details, and outcomes were compared between Hispanic and non-Hispanic patients. Early onset gastric cancer was defined as age <50 years. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional-hazards models were used to identify the impact of ethnicity on disease-specific survival (DSS). Results: Seven hundred and ninety-seven patients were included, of which 219 (28%) were Hispanic. Hispanic patients were more likely to seek care at safety-net hospitals (66 vs 39%) and be uninsured (36 vs 17%), and less likely to have a primary care provider (PCP) (46 vs 75%; all P<0.05). Hispanic patients were twice as likely to present with early onset gastric cancer (28 vs 15%) and were more frequently diagnosed in the emergency room (54 vs 37%) with both abdominal pain and weight loss (44 vs 31%; all P <0.05). Treatment paradigms, operative outcomes, and DSS were similar between Hispanic and non-Hispanic patients when accounting for cancer stage. Cancer stage, pathologically positive nodes, and negative surgical margins were independently associated with DSS. Conclusions: A diagnosis of gastric cancer must be considered in previously healthy Hispanic patients who present to the emergency room with both abdominal pain and weight loss. Fewer than 50% of Hispanic patients have a PCP, indicating poor outpatient support. Efforts to improve outpatient support and screening may improve gastric cancer outcomes in this vulnerable population.
- Gastric cancer
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