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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Early-Stage Lung Cancer Survival.

Soneji S, Tanner NT, Silvestri GA, Lathan CS, Black W. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Early-Stage Lung Cancer Survival. Chest. 2017 Sep 1; 152(3):587-597.

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BACKGROUND: Black patients with lung cancer diagnosed at early stages-for which surgical resection offers a potential cure-experience worse overall survival than do their white counterparts. We undertook a population-based study to estimate the racial and ethnic disparity in death from competing causes and assessed its contribution to the gap in overall survival among patients with early-stage lung cancer. METHODS: We collected survival time data for 105,121 Hispanic, non-Hispanic Asian, non-Hispanic black, and non-Hispanic white patients with early-stage (IA, IB, IIA, and IIB) lung cancer diagnosed between 2004 and 2013 from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results registries. We modeled survival time using competing risk regression and included as covariates sex, age at diagnosis, race/ethnicity, stage at diagnosis, histologic type, type of surgical resection, and radiation sequence. RESULTS: Adjusting for demographic, clinical, and treatment characteristics, non-Hispanic blacks experienced worse overall survival compared with non-Hispanic whites (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02-1.08), whereas Hispanics and non-Hispanic Asians experienced better overall survival (aHR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.89-0.98; and aHR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.79-0.86, respectively). Worse survival from competing causes of death, such as cardiovascular disease and other cancers-rather than from lung cancer itself-led to the disparity in overall survival among non-Hispanic blacks (adjusted relative risk, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.02-1.12). CONCLUSIONS: Narrowing racial and ethnic disparities in survival among patients with early-stage lung cancer will rely on more than just equalizing access to surgical resection and will need to include better management and treatment of smoking-related comorbidities and diseases.

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