Despite ready access to medical care 91% of patients dying of lung cancer derived from a population of just under 400 000 are shown to have presented too late for other than palliative treatment. As the incidence and death rates from lung cancer in the district were very similar, few survivors can be expected. Morphological confirmation of the diagnosis was available in 96% of cases. The first positive morphological diagnosis was obtained from sputum cytology taken on admission in 69% of all cases and in 77% of those in whom there had been delay in diagnosis. More extensive use of this investigation on an outpatient basis is urged.
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