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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2006 Aug 10;126(15):1894-7.

[Waiting time for surgery of lung cancer].

[Article in Norwegian]

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Kreftregisteret Montebello 0310 Oslo.



Surgical resection is the mainstay of curative treatment for lung cancer. It is important that the resection is done as soon as the disease is diagnosed. The waiting time in Norway can be longer than desirable.


Patients who underwent resection for primary lung cancer in the period 1998-2001 were identified in the Cancer Registry of Norway. When malignancy was confirmed preoperatively by histopathology or cytology, the time interval from diagnostic procedure to the pathologist's answer was calculated as response time and further the time from diagnosis to surgery was calculated as waiting time. Covariates important for waiting time were analysed by univariable and multivariable regression analyses.


Of the 1351 patients that were operated in the period, 924 had a positive cytological or histological preoperative diagnosis. Pathology response time was median 3 days and waiting time for surgery was median 26 days (range 0-406 days). Multivariable regression analysis demonstrated that disease stage, histology and patient referral between hospitals contributed to waiting time from diagnosis to operation. Patients undergoing investigation and surgery at the same hospital had a median 9 days shorter waiting time than those referred from other hospitals.


Our investigation revealed a longer waiting time than desired. A high proportion of patients did not have a positive preoperative biopsy or cytology.

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