PURPOSE: Lung cancer continues to be an increasing crisis in the developing world particularly in the Middle East. The objective of this study is to create a database for lung cancer in a major tertiary care center in Lebanon. Understanding the epidemiology of lung cancer is vital for future governmental allocation of resources and for public awareness.
METHODS: A detailed computer based questionnaire was created. Since 1999, All patients diagnosed with lung cancer since 1999 at the American university of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) were identified. Data was collected from hospital records, physicians' private offices and by phone interviews with patients or family members.
RESULTS: From 1999 till 2005, a total of 210 patients were identified. There was a significant male predominance (males 78.1% vs. females 21.9%) and all cases except 9% were associated with smoking. 88% of cases were identified as non small cell cancer of the lung (NSCCL) and most of them were adenocarcioma (46% of non small cell). The majority of NSCCL were diagnosed at a late stage (48.9%) with a dismal 5 year survival (27%) when compared to stage 1 disease (73.9%). 12 % of cases were non small cell Cancer with 20 % 5 year survival.
CONCLUSION: The study illustrates the gravity of lung cancer and smoking in Lebanon. 73% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer are currently smokers or just quitted smoking. The majority of cases were identified at late stages with poor prognosis.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: This study delineates the need for educating the public in Lebanon about the hazards of smoking and lung cancer. We need to make the diagnosis of lung cancer earlier rather than later to improve survival. This data registry is noted by other tertiary and community hospitals in Lebanon. A new effort is underway to enlarge the scope of data collection to a national registry for lung cancer in Lebanon.
DISCLOSURE: Ahmad Husari, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information