Author(s): Ramalingam S, Pawlish K, Gadgeel S, Demers R, Kalemkerian GP, Ramalingam S, Pawlish K, Gadgeel S, Demers R, Kalemkerian GP
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Abstract PURPOSE: A large community-based cancer registry was analyzed to determine if the clinicopathologic characteristics and/or survival rates of lung cancer patients under 50 years of age at diagnosis differ from those of patients 50 years of age or greater at diagnosis. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Data regarding demographics, stage, histology, initial therapy, and survival were obtained on all patients with primary bronchogenic carcinoma registered in the metropolitan Detroit Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry from 1973 to 1992. RESULTS: Of 31,266 patients, 9.0\% were under 50 years of age at diagnosis. Females (40.1\% v 31.2\%; P < .001) and blacks (28.7\% v 21.9\%, P < .001) were overrepresented in the younger group compared with the older group. Younger patients had a significantly higher incidence of adenocarcinoma and were less likely to present with local-stage disease (18.6\% v 25.2\%; P < .001). Younger patients were significantly more likely to undergo surgery and/or combined-modality therapy. Relative survival at 5 years was significantly better in the younger group (16.1\% v 13.4\%; P < .001), mainly because of better survival in patients with local-stage disease (48.7\% v 35.4\%; P < .001). In a multivariate analysis, advanced-stage, nonsurgical initial therapy, age 50 years or greater at diagnosis, and male gender were independent negative prognostic factors. CONCLUSION: The overrepresentation of females and blacks in the group of younger patients with lung cancer suggests an increased susceptibility to lung carcinogens in these populations. Overall, this study suggests that lung cancer is not a more aggressive disease in younger patients and that all patients with lung cancer should be managed along the same therapeutic guidelines.
This article was published in J Clin Oncol
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy