Treatment disparities for disabled medicare beneficiaries with stage I non-small cell lung cancer.
ABSTRACT Treatment disparities for disabled Medicare beneficiaries with stage I non-small cell lung cancer.
To compare initial treatment and survival of nonelderly adults with and without disabilities newly diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer.
Retrospective analyses; population-based cohorts.
Eleven Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registries.
Persons with disability Medicare entitlement (n=1016) and nondisabled persons (n=8425) ages 21 to 64 years when diagnosed with stage I, pathologically confirmed, first primary non-small cell lung cancer between January 1, 1988, and December 31, 1999.
Initial cancer treatments (surgery, radiotherapy), survival (through December 31, 2001). Multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards regression estimated adjusted associations of disability status with treatments and survival.
Persons with disabilities were much more likely to be male, non-Hispanic black, and not currently married. Although 82.2% of nondisabled persons had surgery, 68.5% of disabled persons received operations. Adjusted relative risks (RRs) of receiving surgery were especially low for persons with respiratory disabilities (adjusted RR=.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], .67-.85), nervous system conditions (adjusted RR=.86; 95% CI, .76-.98), and mental health and/or mental retardation disorders (adjusted RR=.92; 95% CI, .86-.99). Persons with disabilities had significantly higher cancer-specific mortality rates (hazard ratio [HR]=1.37; 95% CI, 1.24-1.51) than persons without disabilities. Observed differences in cancer mortality persisted after adjusting for demographic and tumor characteristics (adjusted relative HR=1.23; 95% CI, 1.10-1.39). Further adjustment for surgery use eliminated statistically significant differences in cancer mortality between persons with and without disabilities across disabling conditions.
Persons with disabilities were much less likely than nondisabled Medicare beneficiaries to receive surgery; statistically significant cancer-specific mortality differences disappeared after accounting for these treatment differences. Future research must explore reasons for these findings and whether survival of disabled Medicare beneficiaries with early-stage, non-small cell lung cancer could improve if surgical treatment disparities were eliminated.
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ABSTRACT: The preoperative physiologic assessment of a patient being considered for surgical resection of lung cancer must consider the immediate perioperative risks from comorbid cardiopulmonary disease, the long-term risks of pulmonary disability, and the threat to survival due to inadequately treated lung cancer. As with any planned major operation, especially in a population predisposed to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease by cigarette smoking, a cardiovascular evaluation is an important component in assessing perioperative risks. Measuring the FEV(1) and the diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) measurements should be viewed as complementary physiologic tests for assessing risk related to pulmonary function. If there is evidence of interstitial lung disease on radiographic studies or undue dyspnea on exertion, even though the FEV(1) may be adequate, a DLCO should be obtained. In patients with abnormalities in FEV(1) or DLCO identified preoperatively, it is essential to estimate the likely postresection pulmonary reserve. The amount of lung function lost in lung cancer resection can be estimated by using either a perfusion scan or the number of segments removed. A predicted postoperative FEV(1) or DLCO < 40% indicates an increased risk for perioperative complications, including death, from lung cancer resection. Exercise testing should be performed in these patients to further define the perioperative risks prior to surgery. Formal cardiopulmonary exercise testing is a sophisticated physiologic testing technique that includes recording the exercise ECG, heart rate response to exercise, minute ventilation, and oxygen uptake per minute, and allows calculation of maximal oxygen consumption (.VO(2)max). Risk for perioperative complications can generally be stratified by .VO(2)max. Patients with preoperative .VO(2)max > 20 mL/kg/min are not at increased risk of complications or death; .VO(2)max< 15 mL/kg/min indicates an increased risk of perioperative complications; and patients with .VO(2)max < 10 mL/kg/min have a very high risk for postoperative complications. Alternative types of exercise testing include stair climbing, the shuttle walk, and the 6-min walk. Although often not performed in a standardized manner, stair climbing can predict .VO(2)max. In general terms, patients who can climb five flights of stairs have O(2)max > 20 mL/kg/min. Conversely, patients who cannot climb one flight of stairs have .VO(2)max < 10 mL/kg/min. Data on the shuttle walk and 6-min walk are limited, but patients who cannot complete 25 shuttles on two occasions will have .VO(2)max < 10 mL/kg/min. Desaturation during an exercise test has been associated with an increased risk for perioperative complications. Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) for patients with severe emphysema is a controversial procedure. Some reports document substantial improvements in lung function, exercise capability, and quality of life in highly selected patients with emphysema following LVRS. Case series of patients referred for LVRS indicate that perhaps 3 to 6% of these patients may have coexisting lung cancer. Anecdotal experience from these case series suggest that patients with extremely poor lung function can tolerate combined LVRS and resection of the lung cancer with an acceptable mortality rate and good postoperative outcomes. Combining LVRS and lung cancer resection should probably be limited to those patients with heterogeneous emphysema, particularly emphysema limited to the lobe containing the tumor.Chest 01/2003; 123(1 Suppl):105S-114S. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The accuracy of clinical staging in lung cancer may be evaluated by comparing it against the gold standard of pathologic staging. The objective of this paper is to compare these two staging methods in a series of 2,994 lung cancer cases operated on consecutively in Spain between 1993 and 1997. The raw frequency of agreement was used to compare clinical against pathologic staging and to assess the agreement. Kappa's index was used to determine the random effect of agreement. Ninety-three percent of the entire population were men, with a mean age of 64 years (median, 66; SD, 9.6). The majority of cases were classified as squamous tumors (1,774; 59%), with complete resection (2,410; 80%), and with lobectomy or bilobectomy (1,490; 55%). The most frequently found pathologic stage was pIB (997; 37%), followed by pIIIA (524; 19%). Considering the 2,377 cases with clinical and pathologic staging data, a classification coincidence was observed in 1,108 cases (47%; Kappa's index 0.248 for stages IA through IIIB). Considering the pathologic staging as the gold standard, the agreement was 75% for stages IA-IB (Kappa's index 0.56). In general, downstaging is more frequent than upstaging. This recent series of lung cancer showed the low diagnostic accuracy of the clinical staging as compared with the pathologic staging. Diagnostic accuracy was found to be much higher in the initial IA-IB stages, as illustrated by Kappa's index.The Annals of thoracic surgery 04/2005; 79(3):974-9; discussion 979. · 3.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: If discovered at an early stage, non-small-cell lung cancer is potentially curable by surgical resection. However, two disparities have been noted between black patients and white patients with this disease. Blacks are less likely to receive surgical treatment than whites, and they are likely to die sooner than whites. We undertook a population-based study to estimate the disparity in the rates of surgical treatment and to evaluate the extent to which this disparity is associated with differences in overall survival. We studied all black patients and white patients 65 years of age or older who were given a diagnosis of resectable non-small-cell lung cancer (stage I or II) between 1985 and 1993 and who resided in 1 of the 10 study areas of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program (10,984 patients). Data on the diagnosis, stage of disease, treatment, and demographic characteristics of the patients were obtained from the SEER data base. Information on coexisting illnesses, type of Medicare coverage, and survival was obtained from linked Medicare inpatient-discharge records. The rate of surgery was 12.7 percentage points lower for black patients than for white patients (64.0 percent vs. 76.7 percent, P<0.001), and the five-year survival rate was also lower for blacks (26.4 percent vs. 34.1 percent, P<0.001). However, among the patients undergoing surgery, survival was similar for the two racial groups, as it was among those who did not undergo surgery. Furthermore, analyses in which adjustments were made for factors that are predictive of either candidacy for surgery or survival did not alter the influence of race on these outcomes. Our analyses suggest that the lower survival rate among black patients with early-stage, non-small-cell lung cancer, as compared with white patients, is largely explained by the lower rate of surgical treatment among blacks. Efforts to increase the rate of surgical treatment for black patients appear to be a promising way of improving survival in this group.New England Journal of Medicine 11/1999; 341(16):1198-205. · 51.66 Impact Factor