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July 7, 1956


JAMA. 1956;161(10):961-963. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970100027008

• The prognostic factor that determines survival was sought in 51 patients who were living five years after operations for resection of histologically verified lung cancer. Age at time of treatment was not a significant factor, and the ratio of men to women in the five-year survivor group did not differ significantly from the ratio in the nonsurvivors.

In 7 instances the tumor was discovered on survey x-rays; in the remaining 44, symptoms gave the alarm. In all 51, shadows of the cancers could be seen on the chest x-rays. The average delay from initial manifestation to diagnosis was 6.8 months in the survivor group and 10.3 months for all nonsurvivors. There was no obvious difference between the two groups as to the types of tumor removed; the percentages of adenocarcinomas were equal, and nine of the survivors had undifferentiated or mixed tumors believed to be highly malignant.

In each of the 51 cases of five-year survival, the diagnosis was originally made by x-ray and confirmed at thoracotomy. In each, the cure was effected by surgical excision of the cancer-bearing lung tissue.