Tuberc Respir Dis > Volume 65(1); 2008 > Article
Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 2008;65(1):15-22.
DOI:    Published online July 1, 2008.
The Clinical Characteristics and Prognosis of Elderly Patients with Lung Cancer Diagnosed in Daegu and Gyeongsangbukdo.
Hyun Sook Kim, Dae Sung Hyun, Kyung Chan Kim, Sang Chae Lee, Tae Hoon Jung, Jae Yong Park, Chang Ho Kim, Seung Ick Cha, Kwan Ho Lee, Jin Hong Chung, Kyeong Cheol Shin, Young June Jeon, Seong Beom Han, Won Il Choi, Yeun Jae Kim, Chi Young Chung, Geon Il Lim
1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu, Korea.
2Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Korea.
3Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Korea.
4Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Keimyung University, Korea.
5Department of Internal Medicine, Daegu Fatima Hospital, Korea.
6Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Gumi, Korea.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in South Korea since the year 2000 and it is more common in elderly patients, with a peak incidence at around 70~80 years of age. However, these elderly patients receive treatment less often than do the younger patients because of organ dysfunction related to their age and their comorbidities, and they show poor tolerance to chemotherapy. The aims of this study were to analyze the clinical characteristics and treatment-related survival of elderly patients with lung cancer. METHODS: In this retrospective study, we analyzed the clinical data of 706 lung cancer patients who were diagnosed at hospitals in Daegu and Gyeongsangbukdo from January 2005 to December 2005. We compared the clinical characteristics and outcomes of the patients who were aged 70 years and older (elderly patients) with those clinical characteristics and outcomes of the younger individuals. RESULTS: The median age of the patients was 68 years (from 29 to 93) and the elderly patients were 38.7% (n=273) of all the study's patients. Squamous cell carcinoma was the most common type of lung cancer in both the elderly and younger patient groups. Elderly patients had more symptoms of dyspnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than the younger patients (p<0.001 and p<0.001, respectively). A good performance status (ECOG 0-1) was less common for the elderly patients (p<0.001). The median survival of the non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients was significantly higher in the younger patient group than in the elderly patient group (962 days vs 298 days, respectively, p=0.001). However, the median survival of the NSCLC patients who received any treatment showed no significant difference between the younger patient group and the elderly patient group (1,109 days vs 708 days, respectively, p=0.14). CONCLUSION: Our data showed that appropriate treatment for selected elderly patients improved the survival of patients with NSCLC. Therefore, elderly NSCLC patients with a good performance status should be encouraged to receive appropriate treatment.
Key Words: Elderly patients, Lung cancer

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