How Diverse Communities Are Impacted by NSCLC

Several disparities, including overall healthcare access, can impact the prevalence of NSCLC in diverse communities.

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If we don't have access to care, then it's obvious that we're going to be more likely to have disease because we're not
getting screened for a disease. [MUSIC PLAYING]
According to the American Cancer Society, Black men and white women are about 15% more likely to develop lung cancer than their counterparts.
So how do we care for diverse impacted communities? It's something that is very tricky. It's something I actually deal with a lot
as health care disparities and trying to be able to increase access. When you look at minority neighborhoods, at least in Southern California--
if I go to Long Beach, you look in Long Beach, what's in the area, you have all of these oil rigs. That contributes to air pollution.
Air pollution, when you inhale it, can cause inflammation, and likely is responsible for some of the abnormal cells that
end up getting made in your body as a result of that exposure. That can happen.
So you have to think about those things, right? You want to educate people on screening. You want to educate people on disease
so that they can understand why they need to go see the doctor. We know the areas in our country that have the highest--
perhaps the highest incidence of lung cancer. We see it year after year. So our effort is on targeting those geographic areas.
We can help identify those social determinants of care to help fill in those gaps.
Those areas have high incidence of lung cancer year after year because patient behavior doesn't change.
The environment doesn't change. And oftentimes, the health care systems there in that area,
they don't change. As health care providers, we have to answer the call to action together.
Lung cancer patients are living longer and living better because of early screening and comprehensive biomarker
testing. And, you know, Dr. Lee, I'd love to hear your experiences as well. You know, you're a cancer survivor.
And not just a cancer survivor, but you're a thriver. What advice do you give as someone who's literally been on both sides?
There's a perspective as a patient that I've got. And yes, I was quite young actually, so 16 years old, when I went through it. But I've worked with hundreds of patients.
I saw that there was a gap in our system currently. We have excellent support systems
when we're diagnosed, when we're going through treatment, for example. But post-treatment-- there's still a lag in terms of what can we do as cancer survivors to actually
empower ourselves to move forward boldly? The reality of it is we may not be that same person that we
were before we were diagnosed. But that doesn't limit us from being someone even better, from feeling better, from doing things better,
from moving on and forward in our lives in a much more powerful way. We have the ability to do a lot of things.
For example, our diet, our exercise, bring down the stress levels-- all of those things that we know can actually help
to decrease our cancer risk. It's not costly to go out for a walk, for example, on a daily basis.
And we can certainly come back to our lives again in a much stronger way as well. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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