Serum testosterone concentrations were measured preoperatively in 39 men undergoing thoracotomy for histologically proved bronchial carcinoma, in 10 patients with pulmonary opacities that transpired to be non-malignant (benign group) and in 23 men were undergoing minor elective surgical procedures (control group). Thirteen of the 39 patients with known bronchial carcinoma were considered to have had curative surgery and 26 a palliative procedure when operative and pathological findings were taken into consideration. Low serum testosterone concentrations (less than 12 nmol/l) were detected in four patients in the curative group, in 22 in the palliative group (chi 2 test: p less than 0.001), three in the benign group, and in two patients in the control group. A low serum testosterone concentration in patients with bronchial carcinoma may be an indicator of metastatic disease and sequential serum testosterone estimations may prove useful in the follow up of patients thought to have undergone curative surgery.
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