Lung Cancer: High-Risk Minorities May Not Be Adequately Screened

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National lung cancer screening guidelines may not be sufficient for minorities and people in underrepresented communities, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). These guidelines, which were developed in 2011 from results of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), recommend lung cancer screening based on age and smoking history.

The researchers, members of the University of Illinois Cancer Center, compared 500 men and women enrolled in a Chicago-based lung cancer screening program with participants in the NLST and found a higher percentage of African-American patients (69.6 percent vs. 4.5 percent) and Latino patients (10.6 percent vs. 1.8 percent), and twice as many “positive” scans (24.6 percent vs. 13.7 percent), as well as a higher percentage of lung cancer diagnoses (2.6 percent vs. 1.1 percent).

These results suggest the lung cancer screening guidelines based on the NLST are inadequate and should be re-evaluated, the UIC researchers say. Additional risk factors that should be considered include a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), having a close relative with lung cancer, and socioeconomic factors like education level.

Sourced from: JAMA Oncology