Serial plasma cortisol estimations were carried out in 81 male lung cancer patients and in a control group of 50 male subjects with conditions other than lung cancer. It was found that group mean plasma cortisol levels, both in the morning and in the afternoon, were greater in the lung cancer patients than in the no-cancer control group. However, long-term assessment four years after the beginning of the study showed that high plasma cortisol levels were found predominantly in cancer patients within six months of death. If such patients are excluded from the study, there is no significant difference in group mean plasma cortisol levels between male lung cancer patients and a male control group.
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