CHEST 2017: Gender, Language, and Treatment Setting as Barriers in Screening and Patient Care in Lung Cancer

Key Points

  • In a single lung cancer screening program, more female than male subjects were shown to meet high-risk criteria, but had not completed a low-dose CT.
  • Treatment at the public hospital was associated with delays in care; neither ethnicity nor primary language was associated with delays in care.

Two new studies from CHEST 2017, held recently in Toronto, reveal disparities in lung cancer screening and care that may impact detection as well as mortality and survival rates in the disease.

Risk Status and Screening

The first study from Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, reviewed the Lahey lung cancer screening database for several characteristics, including smoking status, personal cancer history, lung cancer screening status, and time from initial contact to screening. Data were analyzed on patients who met either National Lung Screening Trial or National Comprehensive Cancer Network high-risk criteria, from January 2012 to March 2017.

They concluded that in the institution’s lung cancer screening program, more female than male subjects were shown to meet high-risk criteria, but they had not completed a low-dose screening computed tomography (CT) scan. This highlights the need for further investigation into the potential interventions that can be taken to enhance lung screening in this particular patient population.

Treatment Delays

A second study out of Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, aimed to assess the effect of language spoken and of other demographic factors on delaying initiation of lung cancer care in patients at public and private hospital systems. In the multivariable analyses of 336 patients with non–small cell lung cancer, treatment at the public hospital was associated with delays in care; neither ethnicity nor primary language was associated with delays in care. The study demonstrates that even in a multiethnic population, the language barrier in and of itself does not seem to affect the interval from diagnosis to treatment.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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