It’s Common Sense That Delaying Lung Cancer Treatment Even by a Few Months Can be Deadly: Treatment soon after a diagnosis is crucial in reducing the risk of recurrence and death.
“Patients with early-stage cancer have the best chance for survival,” says Dr. Varun Puri, a thoracic surgeon and professor of surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “That’s why it’s critical for patients to promptly seek treatment within 12 weeks after they’ve been diagnosed.”
But some patients postpone surgery. They have a variety of reasons for doing so, including getting second opinions, economic or social factors, or even family events such as child’s wedding or a vacation, researchers noted.
Concerns about contracting COVID-19 in the hospital also led patients to delay surgery.
But a recent study of more than 9,900 U.S. patients (average age: 67) with stage 1 non-small cell lung cancer who had surgery between October 2006 and September 2016 found that waiting more than 12 weeks after diagnosis with a CT scan was associated with increased odds of recurrence and death.
The majority (70%) of patients had surgery within 12 weeks. On average, those who had surgery within 12 weeks lived 7.5 months longer than those who did not — 76.1 months versus 68.6 months.
Forty-two percent of patients had a recurrence of cancer in the six years after surgery, but it was more common in patients who had surgery after 12 weeks. Each week of delay was associated with a modest increase in the risk of recurrence, according to findings published in the journal JAMA Network Open.
“Physicians and patients want to know more about the safety of delaying surgery. The risks have been poorly understood because previous studies have used imprecise definitions for the date of cancer diagnosis. The goal of our study was to provide more uniform data, which we did by tracking patients from most recent CT scan diagnosis to day of surgery,” Dr. Puri said in a university news release.
Lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer (after skin cancers) and the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for 84% of all lung cancer cases and the five-year survival rate is 25%, according to the American Cancer Society.
CyberKnife Miami has treated many lung cancer patients, giving them hope when there was none and extending their lives, often for many years.
We treat lung cancer non invasively, using CyberKnife radiation therapy. CyberKnife is the only technology that tracks the tumor as the patient breathes normally, greatly reducing the risk of damaging surrounding healthy lung tissue and vital organs like the heart.
Call the Best CyberKnife Doctors in Miami at the CyberKnife Center of Miami to see if we can help you or a loved one 305-279-2900 and go to our website now to see how we treat lung cancer. https://www.cyberknifemiami.com/lung-cancer-treatment/