Study shows COPD is not independent risk factor for lung cancer

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are two of the most important smoking-related diseases worldwide, with a huge combined mortality bur¬den. Many consider the presence of COPD itself to be an independent risk factor for lung cancer. Others argue that smoking contributes to both COPD and lung cancer. A recent study published in the January 2013 issue of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's (IASLC) Journal of Thoracic Oncology, concludes that COPD is not an independent risk factor for lung cancer.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham looked at patients with lung cancer between January 2000 and July 2009 from The Health Improvement Network, a general practice database, in the United Kingdom.

Researchers, "found evidence of a strong association between COPD and lung cancer, but this was largely explained by the effect of smoking and is most apparent in recently diagnosed cases of COPD, suggesting a strong element of ascertainment bias."

They go on to say that there is "an extremely strong unadjusted relationship between both COPD and pneu¬monia and lung cancer in the 6 months immediately before lung cancer diagnosis. This is useful in a clinical context, high¬lighting the need to consider a diagnosis of lung cancer when making new diagnoses of COPD or pneumonia."

The researchers support the current recommendations of the and the U.K. National Institute for Health Research, that all patients should have a chest radiograph looking for evi¬dence of lung cancer at the time of COPD diagnosis.

The lead author of this work is Dr. Helen Powell. Co-authors include IASLC member Dr. David Baldwin.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Putting the brakes on cancer

Dec 19, 2014

A study led by the University of Dundee, in collaboration with researchers at our University, has uncovered an important role played by a tumour suppressor gene, helping scientists to better understand how ...

Peanut component linked to cancer spread

Dec 19, 2014

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that a component of peanuts could encourage the spread and survival of cancer cells in the body.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.