An analysis of treatment delays of thoracic cancers: a prospective study

Revue des Maladies Respiratoires 2014 March [Link]

Leveque N, Brouchet L, Lepage B, Hermant C, Bigay-Game L, Plat G, Dahan M, Riviere D, Didier A, Mazieres J.



Lung cancer is the main cause of cancer death in France. The diagnosis is often late and the delay between the onset of symptoms and management is considered an aggravating factor.

Materials and Methods

Our prospective study collected the dates of the start of management of 139 consecutive patients receiving first line treatment for thoracic cancer in our hospital between November 2008 and May 2009. The aim of this study was to evaluate the delays in medical or surgical treatments in patients with thoracic cancer and to determine the cause of these delays.


The median delay between the first abnormal chest X-ray and treatment was 9.6 weeks. The delays were significantly shorter in the late stages and in small cell cancer (P=0.001). There was a tendency for shorter delays in women and for longer delays in older patients.


Evaluation of the delays in treatment, particularly in the early stages, is part of the quality control of management of these diseases.