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Dr. Erhunmwunsee Discusses Disparities in Lung Cancer Treatment

Loretta Erhunmwunsee, MD, thoracic surgeon, assistant professor of surgery, City of Hope, discusses disparities in the treatment of lung cancer.

Loretta Erhunmwunsee, MD, thoracic surgeon, assistant professor of surgery, City of Hope, discusses disparities in the treatment of lung cancer.

There are racial and socioeconomic disparities in every facet of lung cancer treatment, whether it is surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, says Erhunmwunsee. Factors with EGFR mutations and MET mutations can differ based on race. Disadvantaged groups are less likely to seek treatment, and are often less likely to survive.

Erhunmwunsee advises clinicians to be aware of these disparities and to provide support to groups with higher rates of mortality. She adds that if a patient had less education or a lower income, it could be beneficial to connect with social workers and treat the patient in a multidisciplinary fashion. These patients have more hurdles, and varying risk factors must be acknowledged and understood.

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