Table 1—

Demographic and clinical characteristics of the study cohort

CharacteristicSubjects nMedian (range)Frequency
Age yrs127766 (32–90)
Male sex y/n12771096/181
Current smokers y/n1277993/284
Education E/ML/MH/H/U1277508/531/156/66/16
Previous lung diseases y/n1277517/760
Previous extra-pulmonary diseases y/n1277949/328
History of other cancers y/n1277137/1140
Referral delay#12772 (0–48)
Diagnostic period1277319/319/320/319
ECOG PS 0/1/2/3/41277143/512/447/149/26
Weight loss+125695 (59–125)
Tumour cell type ES/S/A/L/U1277496/144/293/82/262
Serum blood tests
 Haemoglobin g·dL−1127113.8 (6.6–20.0)
 White blood cells n·mm−312718550 (2890–36400)
 Platelets n·mm−31274285000 (72000–982000)
 GOT mg·dL−1126919 (5–550)
 GPT mg·dL−1126719 (3–765)
 Lactate dehydrogenase mg·dL−11212389 (81–10.120)
 Creatinine mg·dL−112690.9 (0.4–4.8)
 CEA ng·mL−112273 (0–7584)
 TPA U·L−11217130 (10–5203)
Stage of disease 0/1a/1b/2a/2b/3a/3b/412771/91/145/11/41/203/324/461
TNM staging factors
 T factor 0/1/2/3/412771/176/452/183/465
 N factor 0/1/2/31277480/120/446/231
 M factor 0/11277816/461
 Lung metastases y/n1277184/1093
 Brain metastases y/n1277140/1137
 Liver metastases y/n1277118/1159
 Renal/suprarenal gland metastases y/n1277100/1177
 Bone metastases y/n1277120/1157
Primary treatment P/C/R/S1277434/541/69/233
Follow-up time weeks127730.7 (1.3–722.6)
Status alive/dead1277238/1039
  • y: yes; n: no; E: elementary; ML: middle-lower class; MH: middle-higher class; H: high school; U: university; ECOG PS: Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status; ES: epidermoid or squamous cell cancer; S: small cell cancer; A: adenocarcinoma; L: large cell anaplastic cancer; U: unclassified or mixed cell type; GOT: glutamic oxalacetic transaminase; GPT: glutamic pyruvic transaminase; CEA: carcinoembryonic antigen; TPA: tissue polypeptide antigen; P: palliative and supportive care; C: chemotherapy; R: radio-chemotherapy; S: surgical resection. #: months from the first symptom of lung cancer (alarming symptom) to the specialist referral; : quartiles of the distribution of the dates of diagnosis (Period I: no. 319 (Jan. 1989–May 1992); Period II: no. 319 (Jun. 1992–Sep. 1995); Period III: no. 320 (Oct. 1995–May 1999); Period IV: no. 319 (Jun. 1999–Oct. 2002)); +: body weight at diagnosis in % of the usual weight