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What factors are predictive of surgical resection and survival from localised non-small cell lung cancer?

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Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, accounting annually for about 8100 deaths in Australia1 and 1.4 million deaths worldwide.2 Around 90% of lung cancers among men and 65% of lung cancers among women in Australia are attributed to tobacco smoking, which underlines the importance of tobacco control.3

Trends in age-standardised lung cancer mortality since the mid 1980s have shown an approximate 30% increase among women and a 40% reduction among men, reflecting contrasting trends in tobacco smoking around three decades earlier.1,4 While risk of death among lung cancer patients has decreased, about 72% of Australian patients die of this disease within 1 year of diagnosis, and about 86% within 5 years.5

New South Wales, the study site, includes 35% of the Australian population. A comparison of patient outcomes in NSW, Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Canada and Sweden found differences in 1-year stage-specific survivals, prompting questions about treatment differences.6 For localised cases, the 1-year death rate for NSW was higher than for comparison populations.6 Although it is suspected that coding differences accounted for this finding,…