Chapter 6 Cancer
BACKGROUND It is well known that patients' health risk behavior will affect the survival outcome of diseases. Smoking alone is a significant health risk behavior that affects the survival outcome of lung cancers; other health risk behaviors remained unknown. Therefore, this study discusses the effects of health risk behaviors on the survival outcome in lung cancer patients. METHODS The study sample consists of 1410 newly diagnosed, histologically confirmed lung cancer patients from a medical center hospital in central Taiwan. The patient medical records were collected from 1 January 1998 to May 2004. Besides descriptive statistical analyses, t-test and analysis of variance were used to analyze the relationship between patient characteristics, patient health risk behavior and survival. Chi-square tests were used to analyze the relationship between patient characteristics, patient health risk behavior and stage of disease. Cox's proportional hazards regression was computed for the risk of survival by patient characteristics and patient health risk behavior. RESULTS The results showed that there is a significant difference between smoking (P < 0.001), alcohol consumption (P = 0.027), routine physical check-ups (out-of-pocket) (P < 0.001) and survival time. Patients with betel-nut consumption did not have a significant effect upon survival than non-betel-nut consumption patients. When holding constants all the variables in Cox's proportional hazards model, smoking (P = 0.02), routine physical check-ups (out-of-pocket) (P = 0.017) and stage at diagnosis of lung cancer (P < 0.001) will affect lung cancer patients' survival. CONCLUSIONS This study presented evidence showing that smoking, alcohol consumption behavior, routine physical check-ups and stage at diagnosis play an important role in determining the survival of lung cancer patients.