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UNC study helps explain why black patients with lung cancer have surgery less often than whites
Date:6/15/2010

g cancer in the U.S. who should be getting surgery, but aren't, Cykert said. "These differences in care go beyond what can be explained by differences between blacks and whites in health insurance, education, and income," he said.

To correct this disparity, he said, physicians need to develop a sense of "paranoia" in cases where black patients with lung cancer, for whatever reason, have been steered away from surgery. In such cases, "We need to be paranoid about it and we need to push for second opinions or other fail-safe mechanisms," he said. Also, "we need electronic records that follow patients so that when someone drops out of care, we can find them and re-offer surgery for cure. It's also important for these electrical record systems to track treatments by race in real time so that we can ensure progress in this area."

But that by itself is not the whole solution, he said. Several other interventions should also be considered, including the use of special navigators for patients who educate patients about risk numbers and calculations and how to relate to them, and using techniques such as the teach-back method to make sure that patients understand what their doctors have tried to communicate to them.


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Contact: Tom Hughes
tahughes@unch.unc.edu
919-966-6047
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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