London: People aged 50 to 64 are more likely to be diagnosed with late stage lung cancer than older patients, a new study has found. The analysis showed that between these ages, a higher proportion of patients were diagnosed at a late stage of lung cancer compared to patients aged 65-69, researchers said.
People in their 70s are more likely to be diagnosed with early stage disease, they said. "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," said David Kennedy from Cancer Research UK. Researchers examined the records of around 34,000 lung cancer patients in England in 2013 to explore the association of early and late stage lung cancer and age.
Previous research shows that older patients may be diagnosed with certain cancers such as bladder and lung at an earlier stage compared to younger patients, but this is the first time this relationship has been explored using lung
cancer data at a national level. "The research can lead to a better understanding of who is at an increased risk of different cancers. It can help target resources to the right groups in helping to improve cancer survival," said Julie Sharp from Cancer Research UK.
"Signs of lung cancer can include a cough that will not go away or being short of breath. It is vital that when people spot something unusual for them, they go to their doctor as soon as possible," said Sharp.