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Lathan C.S.,aw Patterson Center for Population science
Translational Lung Cancer Research | Year: 2015

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related mortality in the US, and while treatment disparities by race and class have been well described in the literature, the impact of social determinates of health, and specific characteristics of the treatment centers have been less well characterized. As the treatment of lung cancer relies more upon a precision and personalized medicine approach, where patients obtain treatment has an impact on outcomes and could be a major factor in treatment disparities. The purpose of this manuscript is to discuss the manner in which lung cancer care can be impacted by poor access to high quality treatment centers, and how the built environment can be a mitigating factor in the pursuit of treatment equity. © Translational lung cancer research. All rights reserved.

Lathan C.S.,aw Patterson Center for Population science | Cronin A.,aw Patterson Center for Population science | Tucker-Seeley R.,aw Patterson Center for Population science | Tucker-Seeley R.,Harvard University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Oncology | Year: 2016

Purpose: To measure the association between patient financial strain and symptom burden and quality of life (QOL) for patients with new diagnoses of lung or colorectal cancer. Patients and Methods: Patients participating in the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance study were interviewed about their financial reserves, QOL, and symptom burden at 4 months of diagnosis and, for survivors, at 12 months of diagnosis. We assessed the association of patient-reported financial reserves with patient-reported outcomes including the Brief Pain Inventory, symptom burden on the basis of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30, and QOL on the basis of the EuroQoL-5 Dimension scale. Multivariable linear regression models were fit for each outcome and cancer type, adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, sex, income, insurance, stage at diagnosis, and comorbidity. Results: Among patients with lung and colorectal cancer, 40% and 33%, respectively, reported limited financial reserves (#2 months). Relative to patients with more than 12 months of financial reserves, those with limited financial reserves reported significantly increased pain (adjusted mean difference, 5.03 [95% CI, 3.29 to 7.22] and 3.45 [95% CI, 1.25 to 5.66], respectively, for lung and colorectal), greater symptom burden (5.25 [95% CI, 3.29 to .22] and 5.31 [95% CI, 3.58 to 7.04]), and poorer QOL (4.70 [95% CI, 2.82 to 6.58] and 5.22 [95% CI, 3.61 to 6.82]). With decreasing financial reserves, a clear dose-response relationship was present across all measures of well-being. These associations were also manifest for survivors reporting outcomes again at 1 year and persisted after adjustment for stage, comorbidity, insurance, and other clinical attributes. Conclusion: Patients with cancer and limited financial reserves are more likely to have higher symptom burden and decreased QOL. Assessment of financial reservesmay help identify patientswho need intensive support. © 2016 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Lathan C.S.,aw Patterson Center for Population science | Tesler Waldman L.,aw Patterson Center for Population science | Browning E.,aw Patterson Center for Population science | Gagne J.,aw Patterson Center for Population science | Emmons K.,aw Patterson Center for Population science
Oncologist | Year: 2015

Background. Disparities in incidence and mortality for lung cancer in African Americans are well documented; however, the extent to which disparities reflect differences in patient perceptions of tobacco and lung cancer treatment is unclear. The objective of this study was to explore African Americans’ knowledge of lung cancer, perceived risk, interest in smoking cessation, attitudes toward lung cancer treatment, and lung cancer diagnosis and treatment experiences. Patients and Methods. The cohort comprised 32 African-American current and former smokers without a cancer diagnosis who participated in focus groups and 10 African Americans with lung cancer who participated in in-depth interviews. Transcripts were analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach. Results. Participants without a cancer diagnosis were aware of the link between smoking and lung cancer, the common symptoms of the disease, and its poor prognosis. They desired specific, personalized smoking-cessation information. If diagnosed, the majority reported, they would seek medical care. Most believed that insurance and socioeconomic factors were more likely to affect treatment access than racial discrimination. Participants with a cancer diagnosis were also aware of the relationship between smoking and lung cancer. They felt their treatment plans were appropriate and trusted their physicians. Most did not believe that race affected their care. Conclusion. This qualitative study suggests that African-American smokers are aware of the relationship between smoking and lung cancer and are interested in smoking-cessation treatment. These data also indicate that lung cancer disparities are unlikely to be associated with differential willingness to receive care but that African Americans may perceive financial and insurance barriers to lung cancer treatment. © AlphaMed Press 2015.

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