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Objectives: To review the spectrum of presentation and the surgical management of Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) and the role of various diagnostic modalities in predicting the post-operative stage and the correlation of the post-operative stage with the chances of recurrence.SETTINGS: The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi--a tertiary care referral center in Paksitan.Methods: This is a retrospective study of medical records of all the patients who were managed at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) between 1988 and 1998. The patients with a diagnosis of lung cancer were identified using the ICD-9-CM coding system and the data was analyzed for patients with NSCLC only.Results: A total of 773 patients were admitted with a diagnosis of lung cancer at AKUH over 10 years period. Out of these 21 (2.71%) underwent staging mediastinoscopy and 20 (2.58%) patients underwent exploratory thoracotomy and biopsy without any resection, as the disease was found to be unresectable. Only 18 (2.32%) patients underwent surgical resection. There were 15 males and 3 females and the mean age was 53 years. Mean duration of symptoms was 12 months and cough and haemoptysis were the main presenting symptoms. Most of the tumors were located on the right side. CT scan and mediastinoscopy were mainly used to stage the disease. Complete surgical resection including en-bloc resection of adjacent structures was attempted, when possible. Median follow up was 24 months and the recurrence rate was 39%. There was no significant correlation between post-op stage and recurrence.CONCLUSION: It is concluded that most of the patients present at the advanced stage and resection is possible only in a small number of patients. The size of primary tumor and local extension should not contra-indicate surgery in patients with negative mediastinal nodes and without distant metastasis as it can be performed safely. All pulmonary lesion in the adults must be thoroughly investigated as early diagnosis and complete resection is the only key to cure and long term survival.


Journal of Pakistan Medical Association

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