Fewer blacks opt for lung surgery.

Position:Cancer Treatment - Brief article

Race may play a role in whether a patient accepts surgical treatment for lung cancer, relates a study which found that blacks with the disease declined procedures at a higher rate than whites, leading researchers to believe that blacks may be misinformed about the effects of a possible operation.

"Surgery for early stage non-small cell lung cancer is standard treatment and is likely curative. Yet, fewer blacks than whites undergo surgery for the disease, leading to a higher mortality rate among blacks with lung cancer," states Bruno DiGiovine, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Mich. "Identifying and addressing the underlying reason for this discrepancy in surgical rates may, ultimately, lead to greater rates of surgical acceptance and decreased mortality rates among blacks with lung cancer."

Researchers speculate that the discrepancy may be a result of racial bias by the physician or a high frequency of comorbidities or a lack of surgical acceptance among blacks. To assess these possible reasons, the rates at which blacks and whites were offered and accepted...

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