New study shows minority lung cancer patients have lower survival rates

Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 5:38 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Findings from a UVA Cancer Center study suggest minorities with lung cancer are waiting longer for treatments, affecting patients’ outcomes.

“Non-white patients face, on an average, three more days after diagnosis of lung cancer to sort of get treatment than white patients with lung cancer,” Doctor Rajesh Balkrishnan, a professor of public health sciences, said.

Dr. Balkrishnan says these results are particularly important with lung cancer as it is often detected late.

“Every day counts, and, essentially, a week’s delay in treatment could make a difference in survival as much as 5%-to-10%,” the doctor said.

He says minority patients also have compromised outcomes compared to white patients: “It is particularly important that patients get diagnosed early, because once you get to later stages there’s not much you can do for the patient. So, procedures like lung resection and radiation are successful primarily in early-stage cancer patients,” Balkrishnan said.

The University of Virginia says it has partnered with minority organizations to help the receive any treatments.

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