North Carolina AHEC Program
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Prognosis: When Cancer Patients Opt for Surgery (NY Times)

by Roni Caryn Rabin, The New York Times

Most lung cancer patients who undergo surgery are still alive three years later, compared with just 10 percent of those who do not. Yet at least one-third of patients choose not to have the operation. Why not?

That was the question Dr. Samuel Cykert sought to answer when he and fellow researchers asked 386 new lung cancer patients who were eligible for the operation, called resection, to fill out detailed questionnaires about their backgrounds and access to health care.

The results varied by race. Sixty-six percent of the white patients eventually had the operation; the percentage for blacks was 55, said Dr. Cykert, an internist at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, N.C. and the author of a paper published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Editor's Note: Effective September 1, 2010, Samuel Cykert, MD, joined the NC AHEC Program Office as Associate Director for Medical Education.