Introduction Over-representation of women, more advanced disease staging at presentation, better performance status and similar survival figures have been noticed in younger (<50 years) lung cancer patients as compared to the general patient population with the disease.
Objective A retrospective study (December 2009) was done to derive clinicopathological data from young lung cancer patients treated in our hospital in the last 5 years. We also compared our findings with National Lung Cancer Audit (NLCA), 2007 in the UK. The NLCA data were considered as a reflector of the patients from all age groups.
Findings 28 patients were identified for the study. Median age was 48 years (37–50). 15(54%) were female. 75% had WHO performance status (PS)1 in patients with documented PS. 43% had family history of lung cancer. 89% were current smoker. Histology was achieved in 89%. 68% had non small cell carcinoma (NSCLC) including 39% adeno carcinoma, 24% had small cell carcinoma; 2 had carcinoid. 55% of histology proven NSCLC had stage 4 disease at presentation. 86% had some form of treatment (surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy). 5(18%) had resection. Survival related data are presented here:
Comparison between our findings and the NLCA data are presented below [Abstract P216 Table 1].
Conclusion Majority of these patients presented with advanced stage disease as in previously reported larger cohorts. Women were a majority but they had a better survival than men. 43% had positive family history suggesting a possible genetic factor. A good proportion in this patient group had favourable performance status resulting in higher resection rate and receiving of active treatment compared to overall patient population. However, this did not lead to better survival.