National Cancer Institute  U.S. National Institutes of Health

Cancer Trends Progress Report – 2011/2012 Update

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Early Detection
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> Lung Cancer Treatment
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Lung Cancer Treatment

Between 1996 and 2005, there was a substantial increase in the use of chemotherapy for patients with non-small cell lung cancer stages IIIB or IV. Older patients were less likely to receive chemotherapy than younger patients.

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Benefits of Treatment

Improved survival and palliation of disease-related symptoms have been reported with the use of chemotherapy and radiation.

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Chemotherapy following the diagnosis of stage IIIB or IV non-small cell lung cancer.

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Period – 1996 and 2005

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Trends – Rising in patients ages 20–49, 60–69, and 70–79.

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Most Recent Estimates

Percent of patients diagnosed with stage IIIB or IV non-small cell lung cancer receiving chemotherapy in 2005:

  • Age 20–49, 77 percent
  • Age 50–59, 61 percent
  • Age 60–69, 60 percent
  • Age 70–79, 47 percent
  • Age 80 or older, 29 percent

A lung cancer NCI patterns of care study is currently being conducted for diagnosis year 2010.

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Healthy People 2020 Targets

There are no Healthy People targets for cancer treatment, including the treatment of lung cancer.

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Groups at High Risk for Not Receiving Appropriate Treatment

Overall, the use of chemotherapy decreases as the age of the patient increases. Less than 50 percent of patients age 70 or older receive chemotherapy.

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Key Issues

There have been significant increases in the use of chemotherapy for the treatment of advanced lung cancer in most age groups. Although patients ages 50–59 did not have a significant increase in their use of chemotherapy in 2005, these patients had a much higher use of chemotherapy than other age groups in 1996. There have been no significant increases in patients age 80 or older, as co-morbid conditions and performance status may influence their treatment decisions.

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Additional Information on Lung Cancer Treatment

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Back: Kidney Cancer Treatment

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