Lung cancer in younger patients

Leda Abbasowa, Poul Henning Madsen

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INTRODUCTION: Lung cancer remains a leading cause of cancer-related death. The incidence increases with age and the occurrence in young patients is relatively low. The clinicopathological features of lung cancer in younger patients have not been fully explored previously.

METHODS: To assess the age differences in the clinical characteristics of lung cancer, we conducted a retrospective analysis comparing young patients ≤ 65 years of age with an elderly group > 65 years of age. Among 1,232 patients evaluated due to suspicion of lung cancer in our fast-track setting from January-December 2013, 312 newly diagnosed lung cancer patients were included.

RESULTS: Patients ≤ 65 years had a significantly higher representation of females (p = 0.0021), more frequent familial cancer aggregation (p = 0.028) and a lower incidence of squamous cell carcinoma (p = 0.0133). When excluding pure carcinoid tumours, a significantly higher proportion of the younger patients presented with advanced stage disease (p = 0.0392). Combined modality therapy was more common in younger patients (p = 0.0009), while chemotherapy appeared less prevalent among the elderly (p = 0.0015).

CONCLUSIONS: Lung cancer in younger patients comprises a distinct clinicopathological entity with more frequent advanced stage disease and a significantly greater proportion with a family history of cancer. Implementing genetic background assessments and considering lung cancer as a possible diagnosis in younger, symptomatic patients, is of paramount importance.

FUNDING: none.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was approved by the -Danish Data Protection Agency.

TidsskriftDanish Medical Journal
Udgave nummer7
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2016

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