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Cancer. 1995 Jan 1;75(1):29-33.

Lung cancer in nonsmoking women. Histology and survival patterns.

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Division of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Missouri Department of Health, Columbia.



Despite the widespread view that important clinical and etiologic differences exist between histologic categories of lung cancer, few studies have examined the accuracy of hospital-reported pathologic diagnoses of lung cancer.


A review of pathologic material and an assessment of survival patterns were conducted in conjunction with a recently completed case-control study of lung cancer among nonsmoking women in Missouri. Using established protocols, tissue slides from tumors of 482 patients were reviewed by 3 pathologists.


Adenocarcinoma was the most common histologic type among former smokers and lifetime nonsmokers. The overall agreement rate between the original and review diagnoses was 65.6%. The positive predictive value ranged from 0.33 for bronchioalveolar carcinomas to 0.84 for adenocarcinomas. Agreement rates for small, medium, and large hospitals were 63.1, 66.6, and 66.2%, respectively. Survival rates were highest for bronchioalveolar carcinoma and lowest for small cell carcinoma.


Given the importance of lung cancer to public health and the need to examine risk by histologic type, these data indicate that pathologic review of registry-reported lung cancer cases may be an important component of large scale studies of etiology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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