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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


KOEGELENBERG, C F N; VAN DER MADE, T; TALJAARD, J J  and  IRUSEN, E M. The impact of HIV infection on the presentation of lung cancer in South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2016, vol.106, n.7, pp.666-668. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND: Despite the very high background prevalence of HIV and smoking-related diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, very little is known about the presentation of lung cancer in HIV-infected individuals. METHODS: We prospectively compared HIV-positive (n=44) and HIV-negative lung cancer patients (n=425) with regard to demographics, cell type, performance status and tumour node metastasis staging at initial presentation. RESULTS: HIV-positive patients were found to be younger than HIV-negative (mean 54.1 (standard deviation 8.4) years v. 60.5 (10) years, p<0.01), more likely to have squamous cell carcinoma (43.2% v. 30.1%, p=0.07) and significantly more likely to have a poor Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of > 3 (47.7% v. 29.4%, p=0.02). In the case of non-small cell-lung cancer, they were also significantly less likely to have early stage lung cancer (0% v. 10.3%, p=0.02) compared with HIV-negative patients. CONCLUSIONS: HIV-positive lung cancer patients were younger, significantly more likely to have a poor performance status at presentation and significantly less likely to have early stage lung cancer when compared with HIV-negative patients.

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