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Blacks Less Likely to Receive Lung Cancer Treatment

Analysis of 12-year data shows racial disparity in patients receiving surgery and chemotherapy

MONDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), racial disparities in treatment did not significantly narrow during a recent 12-year period, according to an article published online April 13 in Cancer.

Dale Hardy, Ph.D., of the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, and colleagues studied 83,101 patients aged 65 and older, including 75,141 whites (90.4 percent) and 7,960 blacks (9.6 percent) who were diagnosed between 1991 and 2002.

Compared to whites, the researchers found that black patients with stages I-II NSCLC were significantly less likely to receive surgery or chemotherapy (odds ratios, 0.63 and 0.58, respectively) and that blacks with stages III-IV NSCLC were significantly less likely to receive chemotherapy (odds ratio, 0.43). The investigators also identified disparities in the level of treatment received by older patients, women and those in lower socioeconomic quartiles compared to that received by patients in the highest income quartile.

"To reduce disparities in receipt of treatment for NSCLC, efforts should focus on providing appropriate quality treatment and educating blacks on the value of having these treatments," the authors conclude.

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