UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Sunlight and lung cancer survival in patients diagnosed and referred to the BC cancer agency between 1980 and 1989 Gholamabbas Javan, Asef


Background Lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer in the world. Recent reports indicate that patients who are diagnosed and treated, especially with surgery, during sunny periods have better survival. Research questions (objectives) 1) Is there an association between a lung cancer patient’s survival and the amount of sunshine around the time of their diagnosis? 2) Is there an association between a lung cancer patient’s survival and the amount of sunshine around the time of their treatment? Design A population based retrospective study Materials and methods We examined BC patients diagnosed with lung cancer during 1980-1989 and referred to the BCCA for treatment. Data from BCCA computerized medical charts were linked with observations from the BC weather service. Survival analyses were adjusted for patient factors (i.e., age and gender), disease characteristics (i.e., stage and cell histology) and treatment information (i.e., surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy use).Each analysis consisted of a univariate and multivariate test of the sunshine variable’s association with the patients’ survival. The univariate analysis was a Kaplan-Meier plot with log-rank test. The multivariate analysis was the hazard ratio from a Cox proportional-hazards model adjusting for patient age, disease stage, treatment, tumor laterality and tumor presenting site. Results This study considered 9302 patient records. Our results indicate that the monthly mean vitamin D sunshine (UV) index might be a prognostic indicator for this disease, especially among patients with non-small cell lung cancer. It showed that sun exposure and subsequent vitamin D production increase the survival of some of the patient who diagnosed with lung cancer between the period of 1980 and 1989 in BC. Conclusions 90% of active vitamin D in our body is triggered by UV exposure. Different studies have shown that vitamin D has inhibitory effects in the development of cancers such as colon, breast and pancreas. Although the monthly mean vitamin D sunshine (UV) index is an indirect measure of vitamin D exposure, it might affect the prognosis for some lung cancer patients.

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