Racial Differences in Treatment and Survival among Veterans and Non-Veterans with Stage I NSCLC: An Evaluation of Veterans Affairs and SEER-Medicare Populations.
BACKGROUND: Surgery is the preferred treatment for stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with radiation reserved for those not receiving surgery. Previous studies have shown lower rates of surgery among Blacks with stage I NSCLC than among Whites. METHODS: Black and White men ages ≥65 years with stage I NSCLC diagnosed between 2001 and 2009 were identified in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database and Veterans Affairs (VA) cancer registry. Logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine associations between race, treatment, and survival. RESULTS: Among the patients in the VA (n = 7,895) and SEER (n = 8,744), the proportion of Blacks was 13% and 7%, respectively. Overall, 16.2% of SEER patients (15.4% of Whites, 26.0% of Blacks) and 24.5% of VA patients received no treatment (23.4% of Whites, 31.4% of Blacks). In both cohorts, Blacks were less likely to receive any treatment compared with Whites [ORadj = 0.57; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.47-0.69 for SEER-Medicare; ORadj = 0.68; 95% CI, 0.58-0.79 for VA]. Among treated patients, Blacks were less likely than Whites to receive surgery only (ORadj = 0.57; 95% CI, 0.47-0.70 for SEER-Medicare; ORadj = 0.73; 95% CI, 0.62-0.86 for VA), but more likely to receive chemotherapy only and radiation only. There were no racial differences in survival. CONCLUSIONS: Among VA and SEER-Medicare patients, Blacks were less likely to get surgical treatment. Blacks and Whites had similar survival outcomes when accounting for treatment. IMPACT: This supports the hypothesis that equal treatment correlates with equal outcomes and emphasizes the need to understand multilevel predictors of lung cancer treatment disparities.
Williams, CD; Alpert, N; Redding, TS; Bullard, AJ; Flores, RM; Kelley, MJ; Taioli, E
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