WEDNESDAY, Nov. 3, 2021 (HealthDay News) — In the United States, more patients are being diagnosed with stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and five-year survival for NSCLC has increased, according to a study published online Oct. 21 in JAMA Oncology.

Apar Kishor Ganti, M.D., from VA Nebraska Western Iowa Health Care System in Omaha, and colleagues calculated the most recent epidemiologic estimates of NSCLC in the United States using data from the U.S. Cancer Statistics database (2010 to 2017).

The researchers found 1.28 million new NSCLC cases during the study period (53 percent men; 67 percent ≥65 years). Overall, there was a decrease in NSCLC incidence from 46.4 per 100,000 in 2010 to 40.9 per 100,000 in 2017 (age <65 years: 15.5 to 13.5 per 100,000; age ≥65 years: 259.9 to 230.0 per 100,000). There was stability in the incidence of stage II, IIIA, and IIIB NSCLC, while the incidence of stage IV disease decreased slightly from 21.7 to 19.6 per 100,000. There was an increase in stage I NSCLC incidence from 10.8 to 13.2 per 100,000. More than one-quarter of patients survived five years (26.4 percent). Among patients with stage IV NSCLC, more of those 65 years of age and older received no treatment (38.3 percent) compared with those younger than 65 years (22.8 percent).

“The findings of this cross-sectional epidemiological analysis suggest that the increased incidence of stage I NSCLC at diagnosis likely reflected improved evaluation of incidental nodules,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, which funded the study.

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