Quality of survival was studied in 69 surgically treated bronchial carcinoma patients (25% of a total 273 patients in an unselected epidemiological sample). The Carlens vitagram index was used. The quality of survival in patients cured by pulmonary resection was excellent. It was poor in patients who underwent resection and subsequently died, and especially in patients who had non-resectional thoracotomies. The patients who were operated on and later died did not have a better quality of survival than non-surgically treated patients in the same stage. Thus pulmonary resection has no palliative effect in bronchial carcinoma patients who are not cured. The possible benefit of "removing the tumour burden" in patients treated with operation alone can, therefore, be dismissed. The only aim of the operation at present must be to cure.
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