oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Clinical profile of patients diagnosed with primary lung cancer at the Pulmonology Division, Universitas Academic Hospital, Bloemfontein, 2010-2011 : original research

Volume 28, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1015-8782
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1084



Lung cancer is regarded by the World Health Organization as a leading cause of death globally. Limited data are available on lung cancer epidemiology in South Africa. This study aimed to determine the profile of patients with lung cancer who were seen at a local pulmonology clinic. A retrospective audit was conducted on patients ≥ 18 years of age who were diagnosed with primary lung cancer at the Universitas Academic Hospital (Pulmonology Division) between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2011. Information was collected with regard to demographic variables, smoking status, performance status, histological subtype and stage of disease. Ninety-two patients' records were included in the study. The median age was 61.2 years (a range of 44-86 years). 57.6% of patients were black, 33.7% white and 8.7% coloured. The male to female ratio was 3:1. The largest group of patients was black men (46.7%). Most patients were current or previous smokers. 45.2% of white patients had a history of ≥ 30 smoking pack years (one pack year of smoking was defined as 20 cigarettes smoked every day for a year), compared to 26.4% of black and 37.5% of coloured patients. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma were diagnosed in 34.8% and 32.6% of patients, respectively. Adenocarcinoma occurred more commonly in white patients (38.7%), while SCC was diagnosed more frequently in black patients (34%). The majority of patients presented with advanced stage of disease. Thorough record-keeping on the epidemiology of lung cancer in South Africa is necessary to enable the planning and implementation of a national strategy with regard to treatment options and prevention.

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