Giving Compass' Take:

• Rachel Tompa reports that a study found that blood cancer patients' outcomes differed based on their race. 

• How can funders work to identify the causes of racial health disparities? How can hospitals and doctors better support patients of color? 

• Learn more about cancer health disparities

When it comes to cancer, racial minorities face higher barriers to care than do white patients. Now, research shows that those health disparities might extend even to where and how patients die.

A study of nearly 9,500 blood cancer patients who were treated at a UW Medicine hospital and later died revealed that racial and ethnic minority patients have a different experience at the end of their lives than do their white counterparts.

The study found that these patients were more likely to receive aggressive care in the last 30 days of life and to die in the hospital than non-Hispanic white patients. They were also less likely to have documents on file detailing their end-of-life wishes.

Slowly over the last couple years, there’s been more of a recognition of trying to figure out if those disparities exist [for patients with blood cancer] and subsequently to figure out what to do about them,” said Kirtane, who is a fellow in the UW/Fred Hutch Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program.

Read the full article by Rachel Tompa about health disparities from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.