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A Survey of One Hundred Consecutive Malignant Epithelial Lung Tumours

British Journal of Cancer
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
  • Articles
  • Medicine


327 A SURVEY OF ONE HUNDRED CONSECUTIVE MALIGNANT EPITHELIAL LUNG TUMOURS P. J. MULLANEY From the Department of Pathology, St. Kevin's Hospital, Dublin Received for publication July 24, 1958 PULMONARY carcinoma has reached a position of unparalleled importance because of its increased incidence and the general apprehension of an increasingly higher death rate from this disease in years to come. Interest has been shown in this condition since the year 1800, but in 1911 Adler (1912) found only 360 cases of primary carcinoma of the lung in the literature. Katz (1927) found an increase of from 2-09 per cent in 1900-06 to 11-19 per cent in 1925. Figures published by Doll (1953) for England and Wales show that the death rate from carcinoma of the lung increased by 21 times from 1900 to 1924 and by 14 times in the next 25 years. In the ages of greatest frequency of lung carcinoma in men, the pro- portion of this cancer to all other cancers was 40 per cent in 1950. It was the most important site of all cancers in men, causing 28 per cent more deaths than carcinoma of the stomach and providing 24 per cent of all cancers. Of all male deaths in 1950, 4 per cent were due to carcinoma of the lung and in the age group 45 to 54 years the figure was 10 per cent. This condition was a more common cause of death in men than hypertension or pulmonary tuberculosis, but was credited with only one-third as many fatalities as coronary disease. According to Steele (1954), carcinoma of the lung in 1954 was second only to carcinoma of the stomach as cause of death in men in the United States of America, and the death rate from it in that country was twelve times greater in 1950 than in 1920. Smetana, Iverson and Swan (1952) state that figures in the literature indicate that lung carcinoma varies from 5 to 28 per cent of all malignant tumours in men. The deaths from respiratory cancer registered in Ireland (26 counties) have increased from 56 in 1925 to 470 in 1956, and the death rate per 100,000 population has risen fro

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