Breast Cancer Deaths Are Higher In Southern Nevada

Dec 6, 2016

Credit Health eNews

A recent study finds that women in Nevada have higher rates of breast cancer deaths compared to the national average. As Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray women living in southern Nevada have an even lower survival rate.

Researcher Dr. Paulo Pinheiro is with the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

“What we found was that survival rates among Reno women were similar to the U.S. average or even slightly higher,” Pinheiro explains. “Whereas survival rates in Las Vegas were, guess what, they were significantly lower than U.S. average.”

The survival rate for women in southern Nevada is 83 percent, lagging five points behind northwestern Nevada. Pinheiro says it’s surprising to see the disparity in survival rates for women living within the same state.

“Our analysis clearly points to problems in the access to quality health care—meaning what is the treatment that they’re getting,” Pinheiro says. “Is the treatment appropriate? Why are they dying more here than they die for instance in Reno or elsewhere in the United States?”

Dr. Paulo Pinheiro is an associate professor in the UNLV School of Community Health Sciences.
Credit Josh Hawkins/UNLV Photo Services

Pinheiro says a doctor shortage is one problem that affects access to quality health care. Nevada is ranked 47th in the nation for the number of doctors per capita, with the problem being more stark in southern Nevada.

The study also found Black and Filipina women have the lowest survival rate in Nevada compared to other racial and ethnic groups.