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Minorities less likely to follow-up finding of nodules on chest scan for lung cancer

Non-Whites were less likely than Whites to follow-up the finding of potentially malignant nodules found on chest scans for lung cancer, according to a study of 1,843 patients diagnosed in 2016.

“Unless a biopsy is performed (only feasible in a small proportion of nodules), the most effective way to discern benign versus malignant is to follow over time,” said radiologist Eduardo Barbosa, Jr, MD (above) of the University of Pennsylvania.

But follow-up rates for incidental pulmonary nodules can be as low as 40 percent, even when follow-up is recommended by a radiologist. This creates many opportunities for patients to fall off the pathway to follow-up, Barbosa and his colleague Kate Kelly noted.

In the study, among the factors predicting who would not come back for a follow-up were race other than White, having Medicaid or no insurance, and having a low-risk nodule. The study results were presented at a 2021 scientific meeting.

See “Patient background can impact follow-up of lung nodules” by By Kate Madden Yee on the Aunt Minnie website (December 22, 2021)

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