Factors Associated with Small Aggressive Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinomas
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Small aggressive non-small cell lung carcinomas (SA-NSCLC) are characterized by spread to distant lymph nodes and metastases, even while the primary tumour remains small in size, as opposed to tumours that are relatively large before cancer progression. These small aggressive cancers present a challenge for clinical diagnosis and screening, carry grave prognosis, and may benefit from using a targeted approach to identify high-risk individuals. The objectives of this thesis were to identify factors associated with SA-NSCLC, and compare survivorship of stage IV SA-NSCLC to large stage IV NSCLC. Logistic and Cox regression analysis were performed using data from the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST). Model building was guided by knowledge of lung carcinogenesis and lung cancer prognostic factors. Previous diagnosis of emphysema and positive family history of lung cancer in females were associated with increased risk of SA-NSCLC among adenocarcinomas. Despite overall poor prognosis, SA-NSCLC have a better prognosis compared to large stage IV NSCLC.