A new article reveals that patients undergoing surgery for lung cancer may wait too long to receive treatment and skip steps needed to determine the best treatment.
The researchers found that of the 614 eligible patients included in the analysis, 27% had no preoperative diagnostic procedure, 22% did not have an imaging scan to stage the cancer, and 88% did not have an invasive staging test. Only 1 in 10 patients (10%) had the recommended combination of three staging tests [computed tomography (CT) scan, positron emission tomography (PET)/CT scan, and an invasive test] before surgery.
Overall, results also showed that it took a month and a half to more than 6 months for many patients to undergo surgery after an initial x-ray displayed signs of possible lung cancer.
“Lung cancer care is complicated, and all key specialists must be actively engaged early on with each patient to determine the best sequence of tests and treatment for each individual,” said Dr. Raymond Osarogiagbon. “Programs that provide treatment for lung cancer also must measure their performance actively and carefully in order to improve the quality of care and improve patients’ chances of survival.”