Healio reports that about one in five patients with non-small cell lung cancer do not receive treatment.

Elizabeth A. David, MD, FACS, assistant professor of surgery at UC Davis Health and thoracic surgeon at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues used the National Cancer Data Base to analyze treatment receipt for 190,539 patients with non–small cell lung cancer between 1998 and 2012.

Results showed 21% of patients received no specific cancer treatment, such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Many of those untreated patients were elderly, minorities, low income or uninsured.

In addition, the number of patients with late-stage disease — defined as stage IIIa or stage IV — who did not receive treatment increased during the study period.

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