Late Stage Lung Cancer Common Among Middle-Aged Patients

Patients in their 50s and 60s were more likely to be diagnosed with late stage lung cancer compared with older patients.

A recent study found that patients 50- to 64-years-old are more likely to be diagnosed with late stage lung cancer compared with patients 65- to 69-years-old.

Researchers in a study presented at the Cancer Outcomes and Data Conference analyzed 34,000 patient records.

"Through harnessing the power of patient data we were able to detect this difference in the stage at which younger and older people are diagnosed with this disease,” said researcher David Kennedy. “Our results show that younger patients in their 50s and early 60s are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced lung cancer compared to patients in older age groups. Further analysis will focus on understanding this relationship to see if a similar pattern is present for other types of cancer."

Although the researchers are unsure as to the reasons behind their findings, a majority of patients are diagnosed at a late stage, so they stress that risk factors as well as signs of lung cancer are well understood, according to the researchers.

"This research is a great example of the importance of good quality data. It can lead to a better understanding of who is at an increased risk of different cancers,” concluded Julie Sharp, PhD. “It can help target resources to the right groups in helping to improve cancer survival.