Introduction: The College of General Hospital Respiratory Physicians have conducted a study aimed at a better understanding of the details and modalities of management of patients suffering from bronchial carcinoma in general hospitals in France.
Materials and methods: A prospective epidemiological study was carried out on all the new cases of histologically proven bronchial carcinoma seen in general hospitals in the year 2000. The data were collected by a standardised questionnaire.
Results: 137 centres of investigation identified 5 667 patients, mean age 64.3 years, of whom 16% were women. 7.2% of patients were non smokers (with an incidence of 32.3% non-smokers among the women) and 40.3% were ex-smokers. Histologically 16.9% were small cell carcinomas, 40% squamous carcinomas (43.1% among the men, 23.4% among the women, p<0.0001), 30.1% adenocarcinomas (27.2% among the men, 45.3% among the women, p<0.0001). 77.1% of non small cell carcinomas were stages III and IV, and 66.8% of small cell carcinomas were disseminated, with no difference between the sexes.
Conclusion: Respiratory physicians in general hospitals manage more than a quarter of the cases of bronchial carcinoma seen annually in France. The number of women affected is high with a significant percentage of non-smokers and adenocarcinomas.