Legal Articles

June 1, 2013

Lung cancer treatment differs depending on race

Not all races receive the same treatment when it comes to non-small cell lung cancer, according to a new study released in May. Most patients do at some point undergo the necessary surgery to treat the disease, but the different races receive treatment at different times.

90% are non-small cell lung cancers

According to the study results, ”blacks were less likely than Hispanics or whites to have surgery in the early stages of the disease. Hispanics were more likely to undergo surgery for stage 1 and stage 2 disease than white patients.” The American Cancer Society estimates non-small cell lung cancer makes up 90 percent of all lung cancers.

Large disparity in treatment

Researchers looked at over 1.2 million patient records and found that after diagnosis, “82 percent of Hispanics and 78 percent of whites with stage 1 disease underwent surgery, compared to 73 percent of blacks.” The statistics were even more disparate for those diagnosed with stage 2 cancer with 67 percent of Hispanics and 64 percent of whites receiving treatment compared to just 56 percent of blacks.

Further research required

Though the study was able to highlight a significant amount of difference in the amount of treatment the different races received, they have not found a reason for it. Dr. Adusumalli, of the Creighton University of Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, said, “Further research into the underlying causes of these treatment disparities may help improve the treatment and prognosis of all lung cancer patients.”


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