Impact of Race on Treatment and Survival among U.S. Veterans with Early-Stage Lung Cancer.
INTRODUCTION: Numerous reports suggest lower rates of surgical procedures and poorer survival for black patients with early-stage (stage I or II) NSCLC than for white patients. This study examined treatment trends among blacks and whites with early-stage NSCLC and determined whether racial disparities exist in survival among patients receiving similar treatment. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of 18,466 patients in the Veteran Affairs Central Cancer Registry in whom stage I or II NSCLC was diagnosed in 2001-2010 was conducted. Patients were categorized as receiving an operation, radiation, or other/no treatment. Overall survival (OS) and lung cancer-specific survival (LCSS) were evaluated using Kaplan-Meier and multivariable Cox regression analyses. RESULTS: There was a statistically significant disparity between black and white patients receiving an operation that decreased over time to similar rates (p = 0.01). No significant racial differences in receipt of radiation were noted. Race was not associated with OS among all patients (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.97, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.93-1.02). Among patients who received an operation, no racial difference in OS was observed (HR = 0.94, 95% CI: 0.87-1.01), but the HR for blacks versus whites was 0.90 (95% CI: 0.82-0.98) for radiation treatment and 0.89 (95% CI: 0.81-0.97) for other/no treatment. Race was not associated with LCSS among all patients combined or within each treatment category. CONCLUSIONS: A racial disparity in the rate of operation was no longer apparent at the end of the study period. There was no racial difference in OS or LCSS among all patients in this equal access health care system. Long-documented racial differences in lung cancer treatment and mortality result from disparity of access to health care and delivery of recommended treatment.
Williams, CD; Salama, JK; Moghanaki, D; Karas, TZ; Kelley, MJ
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