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Why and what we can do about glaring disparities in lung cancer screening and treatment based on race

Why don’t people from minority groups get equal treatment when it comes to lung cancer screening and care?

A report from the American Lung Association finds that African Americans are 16% less likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer early, 19% less likely to receive surgical treatment, and 7% more likely to not receive any treatment than are white Americans. Latinos, Asian Americans, and Indigenous communities also face screening and treatment disparities.

The most important way to level the playing field for patients is to give everyone equal access to health care, regardless of their insurance or economic status, says Umit Tapan of the Boston University School of Medicine. Next, doctors need to recognize their own bias and work to overcome it through training.

“Black Americans Don’t Get Screened or Treated for Lung Cancer at Same Rates as White Americans: Here’s Why, & What We Can Do About It” by Stephanie Watson on the survivornet website (February 16, 2021)

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