“These differences in treatment for African Americans for lung cancer are more important than the genetic differences by far- staging, surgery and chemo will make a greater impact than genetics…
The first several pages of the study linked and excerpted below talk about the genetic differences in minority lung cancer (LC) patients. Then the last two paragraphs plainly state that minority LC patients will do much better if they simply are 1) staged, 2) undergo surgery and 3) undergo chemotherapy.
If I read the study correctly it simply says that African-American LC patients will do as well as white LC patients if they get the same therapies as white patients do.
I will take this thinking one step further. Consider evidence-based, complementary and integrative therapies. In short, you would be helping surgery, radiation or chemo work better for you.
Have you been diagnosed with LC? What stage? Please scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
- Cancer Survivor
- Cancer Coach
- Director PeopleBeatingCancer
Lung cancer is not a discriminate disease, but the disease burden is especially high on African Americans in the U.S. The statistics are stark: African-American men are 37% more likely to develop lung cancer than white men and are 22% more likely to die of it. In addition, only 12% of African Americans live longer than five years after a diagnosis of lung cancer, compared with 16% of whites, according to a recent report by the American Lung Association (see Fact box).
One suggested the reason for this gap in outcomes is differences in race-based genetics. In the era of personalized medicine and treatments that target specific disease pathways, identifying genetic differences among populations is becoming increasingly important to optimize benefit.
Given the current discrepancies in treatment for African Americans, pinpointing which therapy will serve them best is crucial. According to the ALA report, blacks are less likely to undergo staging. In addition, they are less likely to have surgery (34% vs 61.6% of whites) and are less likely to receive chemotherapy (28.6% vs 46.9%). A recent study of more than 83,000 Medicare patients found that the disparity was relatively unchanged over the 12-year course of the study (Cancer 115:2199-2211, 2009; J Clin Oncol 24:413-418, 2006).
“These differences in treatment for African Americans are more important than the genetic differences,” Dr. Hicks said. “As a consumer advocate, I am suggesting that when faced with lung cancer, you certainly want to be treated by an institution or individual who has significant experience and a track record with that illness. Adequate staging to pick the best treatment is very important.””