Middle-aged at greater risk of late stage lung cancer

London: Middle-aged patients between ages 50 to 64 are more likely to be diagnosed with late stage lung cancer than older patients, says a study.

“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, data and research analyst at Cancer Research UK, a cancer charity.

“Further analysis will focus on understanding this relationship to see if a similar pattern is present for other types of cancer,” Kennedy noted.

To explore the association of early and late stage lung cancer and age, the researchers examined the records of around 34,000 lung cancer patients in England in 2013.

“It’s not clear exactly why younger patients are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, but what’s important is that the disease is caught early,” Julie Sharp, head of health and patient information at Cancer Research UK, noted.

“Signs of lung cancer can include a cough that won’t go away or being short of breath. It’s vital that when people spot something unusual for them, they go to their doctor as soon as possible. Detecting cancer early is crucial as it offers the best chance of successfully treating the disease,” Sharp said.

The findings are scheduled to be presented at the Cancer Outcomes and Data Conferenc 2016 in Manchester on Tuesday.