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This article is the author’s final published version in Journal of Thoracic Disease, Volume 13, Issue 6, June 2021, Pages 3758 - 3763.

The published version is available at Copyright © Evans et al.


Background: To review and discuss the current literature regarding socio-economic and racial disparities in the treatment of early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Background: Lung cancer is the most lethal solid organ malignancy in the United States, with the second-highest incidence of new malignances for both men and women. While overall survival for lung cancer is improving, significant socioeconomic and racial disparities in outcomes for lung cancer persist. Methods: Narrative review of peer reviewed literature synthesizing findings retrieved from searches of computerized databases, primary article reference lists, authoritative texts and expert options. Results: The current incidence of lung cancer appears to be similar between White and Black patients. However, Black patients are substantially less likely to receive curative intent surgery. Mitigation strategies do exist to narrow this inequity. Lower socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with a higher incidence of lung cancer, lower utilization of surgery and poorer outcomes after surgery. Conclusions: Race and SES remain closely linked to outcomes in lung cancer. Outcomes are still worse when controlling for stage and specifically, in early-stage disease, surgical therapy is consistently underused in Black patients and patients of low SES. © Journal of Thoracic Disease. All rights reserved.

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