Intended for healthcare professionals

Papers And Originals

Earlier diagnosis and survival in lung cancer

Br Med J 1969; 4 doi: (Published 01 November 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;4:260
  1. G. Z. Brett


    In a controlled investigation the survival prospects of lung cancer in a population of men aged 40 and over who had been offered six-monthly chest radiographs over a period of three years were compared with lung cancer in a similar population without such x-ray facilities. The five-year survival rate of lung cancer in the study series was 15%, and in cases discovered by six-monthly examination 23%, compared with 6% in the control series. The average expectation of life after diagnosis was 2·5 years for the test cases and 1·2 for the control cases. Survival declined with age. Of resected lung cancer, 32% survived five years in the test series and 23% in the control series. The five-year survival rate for squamous carcinoma and adenocarcinoma in the test series was 28% and 25% respectively, compared with 15% and nil in the control series.

    On the basis of these results it is concluded that through earlier radiological detection a modest improvement in the prognosis of lung cancer can be achieved.