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Acta Clin Croat. 2014 Dec;53(4):390-8.

Effect of delays on survival in patients with lung carcinoma in Montenegro.


Lung cancer is a global medical problem with a rising incidence and 5-year survival of 5%-10%. The aim of this study was to investigate whether waiting times and delays in diagnosis and treatment of patients with lung carcinoma have any bearing on prognosis and survi- val. The study was performed in the Brezovik Special Hospital for Lung Diseases and Tuberculosis. The study included all cases with the diagnosis of lung carcinoma in the Republic of Montenegro in 2009, a total of 206 patients, with follow up until the end of 2010. Median age was 66, median Karnofsky score 80, and male to female ratio 5:1. Diagnostic procedure was bronchoscopy in 89% of patients. Histologic type was small cell lung cancer in 25.7% and non small cell lung cancer in 74.3% of cases. Surgery was the main treatment for 24.4% of patients. Median delay from first symptoms to diagnosis of lung cancer was 10.35 weeks, mean 8 weeks (median patient's delay was 6.20 weeks, doctor's delay at primary health care 2.07 weeks and in pulmonology services 2.37 weeks). Median survival time for all patients was 39.27 weeks, mean 34. There was no statistically significant diffe- rence between patient's delay/doctor's delay/total delay and stage of lung carcinoma at the time of diagnosis, treatment choice and survival. Our results indicate that longer delay is not associated with poorer prognosis of lung carcinoma. The possible ways of reducing mortality of lung cancer include prevention by decreasing smoking prevalence and improved therapeutic options.

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