Opportunities to address lung cancer disparities among African Americans

Steven S. Coughlin, Patricia Matthews-Juarez, Paul D. Juarez, Courtnee E. Melton, Mario King

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Race and socioeconomic status are well known to influence lung cancer incidence and mortality patterns in the U.S. Lung cancer incidence and mortality rates are higher among blacks than whites. In this article we review opportunities to address disparities in lung cancer incidence, mortality, and survivorship among African Americans. First, we summarize recent advances in the early detection and treatment of lung cancer. Then we consider black-white disparities in lung cancer treatment including factors that may contribute to such disparities; the literature on smoking cessation interventions for patients with or without a lung cancer diagnosis; and the important roles played by cultural competency, patient trust in their physician, and health literacy in addressing lung cancer disparities, including the need for culturally competent lung cancer patient navigators. Intervention efforts should focus on providing appropriate quality treatment for lung cancer and educating African Americans about the value of having these treatments in order to reduce these disparities. Culturally competent, patient navigation programs are needed that support lung cancer patients, especially socioeconomically disadvantaged patients, from the point of diagnosis to the initiation and completion of treatment, including cancer staging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1467-1476
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • African Americans
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Health status disparities
  • Lung cancer
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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