Study objectives: The aim of this study was to analyze
various characteristics and survival in female patients treated
surgically for lung cancer.
Patients: From 1,242 consecutive cases
of primary non-small cell lung cancer treated with pulmonary resection
between June 1984 and December 1998, 337 female patients (27.1%) were
Results: Female patients had the following
characteristics: a significantly younger age at onset (62.5 ± 0.56
years vs 64.1 ± 0.31 years for men), a higher frequency of
adenocarcinoma (86.0% vs 48.3% for men), and smaller tumors (32.7 mm
vs 38.3 mm in diameter for men). Peripheral tumors were significantly
more common in women than men (71.8% vs 50.6%, respectively). Among
686 patients with a history of smoking, the women smoked significantly
less often (12.8% vs 91.4% for men). Complete resection was achieved
significantly less often in women (79.6% vs 85.2% for men); however,
women having complete resection survived significantly longer than
their male counterparts. Women with a postoperative negative
carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) had a significantly better prognosis
than men; however, women with a postoperative positive CEA did not.
Women ≥ 60 years old survived significantly longer than their male
counterparts, while women < 60 years old did not.
Conclusions: Once the tumor was resected completely, women
survived longer, partly due to the influence of life expectancy.
However, the incidence of malignant effusion was higher and the rate of
complete resection was lower in women.