Study objective: A cancer registry was analyzed to
determine if the clinicopathologic characteristics, treatment
modalities, and prognosis of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
patients < 40 years of age at diagnosis differed from patients > 80
years of age at diagnosis.
review of patients with NSCLC diagnosed between 1987 and 1996.
Setting: General teaching hospital in Taiwan.
Patients: There were 6,048 cases of NSCLC diagnosed during
this period. Among them, 127 patients were < 40 years old and 184
patients were > 80 years old. These patients were selected for our
Measurements: Data regarding
demographics, presentation symptoms, histology, tumor staging,
treatment modality, and survival were obtained from all patients.
Pearson’s χ2 test and the Kaplan-Meier method with a
log-rank test were used for statistical analysis.
Results: We found significantly more female patients
(p < 0.001) and adenocarcinoma (p < 0.001) in the younger group,
when compared with the older patients. Cough was the most frequent
presenting symptom in both age groups, followed by dyspnea, chest pain,
and hemoptysis. There was no statistical difference in the severity of
the disease in terms of staging between the two age groups. Young
patients received surgical intervention more frequently than the aged
(p = 0.025). The older patients received only supportive care more
frequently (p = 0.011) than the younger patients. Survival was better
in young patients, when compared with other patients or aged patients
(p < 0.001).
Conclusions: The female sex and
adenocarcinoma were predominant in young NSCLC patients, when compared
with the older patients. Young NSCLC patients tended to receive more
aggressive treatment and had better survival.