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Improved survival and palliation of disease related symptoms have been reported with the use of chemotherapy and radiation.
Chemotherapy following the diagnosis of stage IIIB or IV non-small cell lung cancer.
Percent of patients diagnosed with stage IIIB or IV non-small cell lung cancer receiving chemotherapy in 2005:
There are no Healthy People 2010 targets for the treatment of lung cancer.
Overall, the use of chemotherapy decreases as the age of the patient increases. Less than 50 percent of patients age 70 or older receive chemotherapy.
There have been significant increases in the use of chemotherapy for the treatment of advanced lung cancer in most age groups. Although patients age 50–59 did not have a significant increase in their use of chemotherapy in 2005, these patients had a much higher use of chemotherapy than other age groups in 1996. While there have been no significant increases in patients age 80 or older, co-morbid conditions and performance status may influence their treatment decisions.