Editorials

Treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7362.452 (Published 31 August 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:452

Should include short courses of radiation, with palliation as the aim

  1. Heine H Hansen (hansenhh@iaslc.org)
  1. Finsen Center, 5072, National University Hospital, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark

    Papers p 465

    In spite of a worldwide intensification of the battle against tobacco consumption, the incidence of lung cancer continues to rise in parallel with the increased consumption of tobacco. This is especially so in women in Western countries and in men and women in developing countries.

    Major strides have been made in our knowledge of the biology of lung cancer. But we still await the impact of this information on prevention, early diagnosis, and cure rate, which has been essentially unchanged during the past couple of decades, with a five year survival rate for non-small cell lung cancer of 8-14%. The figures vary somewhat from country to country, with almost half the patients dying within the first year of diagnosis in spite of the best clinical treatments.1

    Non-small cell lung cancer includes squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. It accounts for 75-80% of all new patients; the remaining are small cell carcinomas. Of all …

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