I’m heading to Atlanta for the special Scientist <–> Survivor program at the preeminent cancer research conference (AACR Annual Meeting) in two weeks, and I am excited! I want to make the most of this opportunity, so I’m preparing! One of the articles I read, recently published by the National Cancer Institute (US), was about lung cancer treatment disparities in The United States. Here’s what I learned:
Black patients who are diagnosed with early stage lung cancer are less likely to be treated than white patients (in the US). A study tried to address some of the reasons, and ended up significantly increasing treatment rates for black patients and also white ones.
Outside of the study, only 69% of black people and 78% of white people completed treatment (that could potentially cure them of lung cancer). In contrast, during the study, a remarkable 96.5% of the black people and 95% of the white people completed treatment. What a significant improvement!
Do you know how they did it?
- They paid attention to whether or not people were getting treated.
- They communicated.
- They hired nurse navigators to engage with people and break down barriers.
This kind of care – just a little more care – made an enormous difference! We need this kind of care for every lung cancer patient in every cancer centre!
I wonder how the care compares in Canada…
I think from recent conversations on Facebook, care in Canada definitely varies by Province. It does appear that access to medications and scans varies. Would be interesting to see a similar study completed in Canada.