Substantial nation-wide improvement in lung cancer relative survival in Norway from 2000 to 2016
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionLung Cancer. 2018, 122 138-145. 10.1016/j.lungcan.2018.06.003
Introduction There have been significant changes in both diagnostic procedures and therapy for lung cancer since the beginning of the millennium. National incidence and survival data from 2000 through 2016 are studied. Methods National data on cancer incidence and vital status are virtually complete. Changes in incidence and survival are described by absolute numbers, percentages, and calculation of relative survival (period analysis). Results A total of 44,825 individuals were diagnosed with lung cancer in Norway in the study period. The number of incident cases increased with 49% whereas the prevalence increased with 136% from 2000 to 2016. Age-standardised rates rose markedly for women and levelled off for men. In 2016, adenocarcinoma accounted for about 50% of all lung cancers, slightly more for women than for men. The entity “NSCLC not otherwise specified” declined from 24% to 13%, and the fraction of patients with metastatic disease decreased from 54% to 46% during the period, for both sexes combined. The overall median survival time doubled for women and men, reaching 14.3 months and 11.4 months, respectively. For patients with metastatic disease, median survival time showed a small increase but remained less than 6 months. The overall 5-year relative survival increased from 16% to 26% in women and from 16% to 22% in men. The corresponding improvements for the subgroup of non-surgically treated cases with localised disease, were up from 25% to more than 40% in females, and from 10% to almost 40% in males. Conclusion There have been notable changes in incidence patterns and a remarkable improvement in survival for lung cancer over the last 17 years, most markedly for patients without distant metastases at the time of diagnosis. Hopefully, survival will improve even more when immunotherapy is implemented.