Are Elderly Lung Cancer Patients Being Written Off: New Study By Dr. Wang

Older lung cancer patients

A new study shows that older lung cancer patients are less likely to receive treatment when compared to younger patients.

A new study finds that older patients with non-small cell lung cancer are less likely to be treated when compared to younger patients irrespective of their overall health and prognosis.

The study in brief,

  • US researchers analyzed data from over 20,000 lung cancer patients in the age group of 65 years and above
  • The patient data was obtained from the VA Central Cancer Registry
  • Researchers found that younger, sicker patients were more likely to receive treatment when compared to healthy older patients and this was true for all stages of lung cancer
  • Patients in the age group of 65 to 74 years who had other chronic illnesses received treatment at the same rate as those in the same age group but without any other illnesses
  • These patients received treatment at a higher rate than patients in the age group of 75 to 84 years and who may have improved prognoses

Lead author, Dr. Sunny Wang is a physician at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco in the university news release said that the message of the study is, not to base cancer treatment strictly on age but to assess the risks and benefits for all patients.

The study is titled, Impact of Age and Comorbidity on Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Treatment in Older Veterans, and has been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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