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Editorials |

The Elderly Are DifferentThe Elderly: Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Resection: Resection for Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

Robert G. Johnson, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Surgery, Saint Louis University.

Correspondence to: Robert G. Johnson, MD, FCCP, Department of Surgery, Saint Louis University, 3635 Vista at Grand Blvd FDT-3, St. Louis, MO 63110; e-mail: johnsorg@slu.edu


Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The author has reported to CHEST that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2011 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2011;140(4):839-840. doi:10.1378/chest.11-0911
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Extract

Elderly patients with lung cancer are different, medically speaking. A glimpse into the appreciation, or misappreciation, of this fact is manifest by a 2002 survey of British pulmonologists’ bronchoscopic diagnosis of lung cancer.1 Older patients, even those deemed similar operative candidates, were less frequently referred for operation than younger patients. Whether that is idiosyncratic to the UK health-care system is uncertain, but ageism treatment bias has been reiterated in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (stages III and IV).2 Whether that bias is justified remains a question, but age and life expectancy are critical factors in treatment decisions for patients with lung cancer.

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