According to a new study, minorities in the United States face longer wait times for vital lung cancer treatment than white patients.
The study, published in the journal Cancer, found that black and Hispanic patients with stage III lung cancer were more likely to experience delays in starting treatment than their white counterparts.
In some cases, these delays were due to patients not being able to find a doctor who accepts their insurance. In other cases, patients had to wait longer for approval from their insurer for treatment.
The study’s authors say that these delays can have a significant impact on a patient’s prognosis.
“Our findings underscore the need for greater efforts to ensure that all patients with lung cancer, regardless of race or ethnicity, have prompt access to care,” said study author Dr. Jennifer Ligibel.
The study’s authors say that more research is needed to understand the reasons behind the disparities in treatment.
In the meantime, they say that patients should be aware of the potential for delays in treatment and plan accordingly.
Minorities in the United States are more likely to experience lengthier delays in receiving treatment for lung cancer, according to a new study.
The research, which is set to be published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that black, Hispanic and Asian patients were more likely to wait longer than white patients for vital lung cancer treatment.
Lead author Dr. Matthew Schuchert, of the University of Michigan, and his colleagues analyzed data from more than 1,600 patients with stage 1 or stage 2 lung cancer who were treated at 24 hospital-based cancer programs across the country.
They found that black patients waited an average of 29 days for treatment, compared to 25 days for white patients. Hispanic and Asian patients waited an average of 27 days and 24 days for treatment, respectively.
The researchers say that the findings are “concerning” because delays in treatment can lead to worse outcomes for patients with lung cancer.
“The longer a patient has to wait for treatment, the more likely it is that their cancer will grow and spread, and that their overall prognosis will worsen,” said Schuchert.
He added that the findings highlight the need for ” targeted efforts to reduce waiting times for all patients with lung cancer, but especially for minority patients.”
The study did not examine the reasons behind the delays in treatment, but the authors say that previous research has shown that minorities are more likely to face a number of barriers to care, including lack of insurance, transportation and language barriers.
There is also evidence that minority patients are more likely to be treated at lower-quality hospitals and by less experienced doctors.
“These findings add to a growing body of evidence that minorities in the United States often face disparities in the quality of their cancer care,” said Schuchert.
“It is imperative that we find ways to reduce these disparities, so that all patients have equal access to high-quality care.”