Navigation Links
African-Americans' attitudes about lung cancer may hinder prevention

BOSTON - A new survey has found that African-Americans are more likely than whites to hold mistaken and fatalistic beliefs about lung cancer, as well as being more reluctant to consult a doctor about possible symptoms of the disease, according to researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and their collaborators.

These attitudes among blacks may help explain the puzzling racial disparities in lung cancer treatment outcomes that have been documented over the past 25 years, and highlight the need for clearer, more direct public health messages directed at African-Americans, say the scientists.

Christopher Lathan, MD, MPH, an oncologist in the Division of Population Sciences at Dana-Farber, is the first author of the report in the journal Cancer. Senior author is Gary Bennett, PhD, of Duke University's Global Health Institute.

Both whites and blacks in the survey "grossly underestimated" the bleak outlook associated with a diagnosis of lung cancer only 15 percent of patients survive for five years. Lung cancer is the most lethal cancer in the United States, and among people diagnosed with the disease, African-American men have the highest incidence and mortality. Blacks tend to be diagnosed later than whites, when the disease is more advanced.

Federal data quoted in the paper say that the 2001-2005 incidence rate of lung cancer for white men was 79.3 per 100,000 vs. 107.6 per 100,000 for African-American men, and the mortality rate for white men with lung cancer is 71.3 per 100,000 vs. 93.1 per 100,000 for African-American men. This survival gap was first detected in the early 1980s, and continues today.

Previous studies have suggested that the disparity may be due in part to differences in access to care, rates of surgery, and patient preferences, Lathan says. The current study was undertaken to find out "if African-Americans think about lung cancer in a different way," explains Lathan.

Using a random-digit phone dialing method, the investigators queried patients who had been participants in the National Cancer Institute's 2005 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS).

Both black and white respondents greatly overestimated the percentage of lung cancer patients who survive 5 years or longer many said 50 percent when the true number is 15 percent.

There were three survey questions on which blacks and whites diverged significantly. African-Americans were more likely than whites (53 percent vs. 37 percent) to say they were confused by too many recommendations on how to prevent lung cancer. "This is shocking," says Lathan. "There is only one recommendation to decrease the chance of getting lung cancer. Stop smoking and avoid tobacco smoke."

When asked whether the disease is caused by lifestyle and behavior, 73 percent of blacks agreed, compared to 85 percent of whites.

Among blacks, 22 percent said they would be reluctant to be checked for lung cancer symptoms out of fear of receiving bad news. Only 9 percent of whites agreed with this statement. In addition, 51 percent of African-Americans believed that they would have symptoms before a diagnosis of lung cancer, versus 32 percent of whites.

The researchers concluded, "African Americans are more likely to hold beliefs about lung cancer that could interfere with prevention and treatment."

"We really need to target out lung cancer education to communities of color," says Lathan. "And we need to deliver really clear messages: Stop smoking if you want to prevent lung cancer. You should go to see your doctor. And we should let people known that lung cancer is deadly more deadly than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined."


Contact: Robbin Ray
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Related medicine news :

1. Education program leads to lasting improvement of cancer knowledge in African-Americans
2. Childhood sleep-disordered breathing disproportionately affects obese and African-Americans
3. African-Americans less likely to choose epidurals for postoperative pain relief
4. New Survey Shows African-Americans Are Concerned With Heart Health but Unaware of Link to Brain Health
5. Kidney disease worsens in a fourth of African-Americans despite therapy for hypertension
6. Newly found gene variants account for kidney diseases among African-Americans
7. American Diabetes Association and Eli Lilly and Company Unite to Educate and Empower African-Americans with Diabetes
8. MYH9 gene variations help explain high rate of kidney disease in African-Americans
9. Fear, misconceptions about screenings keep many African-Americans from getting mammograms
10. African-Americans have worse prognosis at colorectal cancer diagnosis
11. Childrens Hospital study finds African-Americans more distrusting of research than whites
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Healthjump, Inc. announced ... a Healthcare IT consulting, development and support company. The purchase will expand the ... within DataTrade to extend the services currently provided by Healthjump. , ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... BAR, CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Inc. ( ), a leading provider of enterprise Time and Attendance/Workforce ... Partner status in the Microsoft Partner Program with competencies in the Application ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... in 2016. In 2016, expected coding changes are likely to include new codes ... codes. It’s not easy to understand the effects of code changes in musculoskeletal, ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... Orion, Clarkston, Metamora, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Women's Excellence is once again accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound ... process that allows practices to demonstrate that they meet or exceed nationally ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 29, 2015 , ... While conventional walkers afford considerable help with mobility, ... exercise weights. Fortunately, an inventor from Uniontown, Pa., has found a way to address ... benefits of a standard walker to improve the user’s quality of life. To begin ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , November 27, 2015 ... set to go online. The potential to save costs, ... vast and far from fully exploited as yet. Here, ... health records, either via mobile tablet or directly at ... --> ) -->      ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has announced ... 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... the author the present scenario and growth prospects of ... the market size, the report considers revenue generated from ... and copper IUDs. The report forecasts the global intrauterine ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Países Bajos, November 26, 2015 ... la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado. ... la inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para ... Un nuevo enfoque combina la inmunoterapia con la terapia ... Clinical Cancer Research . --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: