J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2021 Mar 17. doi: 10.1007/s40615-021-01018-3. Online ahead of print.
There is a long history of racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare and they continue to persist in contemporary society. These disparities have the potential to negatively affect morbidity and mortality in racial and ethnic minorities diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. Diagnosis, medical treatment, and rehabilitation for laryngeal cancer have improved considerably, leading to improvements in overall survival rates and physical, social, and psychological functioning. Yet members of minority and underrepresented groups are at an increased risk for experiencing reduced access to quality care and delays between diagnosis and treatment, and as a result have lower survival rates. Increasing health providers’ awareness of racial and ethnic disparities in laryngeal cancer is necessary to facilitate changes in patient and provider education, clinical practice, and health policies. The purpose of this review is to summarize current literature on disparities in laryngeal cancer diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation among Black and Hispanic patients. We present recent data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database to examine trends in laryngeal cancer and patient, provider, and health systems factors that may perpetuate these disparities. In addition, we offer interventions to address racism and other racial and ethnic biases in laryngeal cancer care and describe research and legislative actions that are needed to reduce disparities in this area.