Never-smokers with early stage lung cancer have significantly better survival than smokers with the disease.
Researchers from the University of Alabama compared survival rates among 562 smokers and 168 never-smokers, all of whom had non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
The overall 5-year survival rate was greater in never-smokers (64%) compared with smokers (56%). Patients with more than a 20 pack-year smoking history had the worst survival. Researchers conclude that smoking not only causes lung cancer, but once a patient develops cancer, smoking makes the prognosis worse.
This study appears in the July issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.