South African Family Practice

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Bronchogenic carcinoma: Has the outlook changed?

FI Hashimi, MJ Mpe


Background: The purpose of the study was to determine the proportion of patients with bronchogenic carcinoma amenable to curative surgery at diagnosis.

Methods: A retrospective approach was used in the setting of an academic hospital. The patients used for the study were all those presenting at the hospital over a two-year period (1999-2000) who were confirmed to have primary bronchogenic carcinoma. No interventions were undertaken.

Results: Eighty-six (86) patients were confirmed with bronchogenic carcinoma during the study period. The mean age of the patients was 57.9 ± 10.8 years. Eighty-five percent (85%) were current tobacco users. Ninety percent (90%) of the cancers were of the non-small cell variety. Only 15% of the patients were deemed suitable for curative surgery. The tumour histology, the sex of the patients and the duration of symptoms prior to presentation had no
bearing on the probability of being suitable for curative surgery. Almost 40% of the patients had metastatic disease at presentation.

Conclusions: The prognosis of bronchogenic carcinoma remains extremely grave. Tobacco use remains an important risk factor.

SA Fam Pract 2004;46(8): 26-27
AJOL African Journals Online