How Racial Segregation Affects Treatment of Blacks Diagnosed with Lung Cancer

Posted by Staff Reporter ( on May 06, 2016 07:11 AM EDT
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LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 21: Students pray in the aftermath of two apparent racially motivated student brawls at Thomas Jefferson High School April 21, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. A number of students suffered injuries this week while fleeing from a lunch period brawl involving about 200 Latino and African-American students, the second racially charged incident in less than a week. Stepped-up school police and Los Angeles police presence, strict regulation of clothing styles that could be associated with gangs, and a tightened school bell schedule that leaves little time to linger between classes are in effect to curb the violence. (Photo : David McNew/Getty Images)

Cancer can affect any person of any color, age, race, ethnicity or social status. A recent report suggests, however, that racial segregation in an area can affect a black patient's survival from non-small cell lung cancer.

A recent study revealed that blacks who lived in the most racially segregated (those who were living near people of the same race and ethnicity) neighborhoods were less likely to get surgery for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) than those who lived in the least segregated areas, reports CNBC. The study was published by the American Association for Cancer Research in their journal "Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention."

The said study, which was based on data from the Georgia Comprehensive Cancer Registry from 2000 to 2009, showed that black patients living in the most segregated neighborhoods were 65 percent less likely to get surgery for NSCLC than those living in areas with the least segregated neighborhoods. About 63 percent of black patients from the second-most segregated neighborhood were also less likely to get the treatment done.

The study also revealed that whites were not affected whether they were living in a segregated neighborhood or not. However, the research reflected that white patients were more affected by the level of education in the area.

"Living in areas with higher economic deprivation was associated with lower odds of receiving surgery for both black and white patients," the research stated.

The NSCLC surgery increases a patient's chance for survival for more than five years. Most patients who do not get the said surgery were said to have died in a year.

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women. In the U.S., there are 224,390 estimated new cases and about 158,080 deaths from lung cancer for 2016.

Lung cancer still remains the leading cause of cancer death. The publication notes that one in four deaths from cancer is from lung cancer.

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