Survival of primary lung cancer patients in Brunei Darussalam, 1987–2012

Lin Naing, Amalina Abdullah, Syafiq Abdullah, Nurolaini Kifli


Background: In 2009 to 2011, the commonest cause of death was by cancer in Brunei Darussalam, and 16.5% and 19.5% of cancer deaths were due to lung cancer in 2004 and 2011 respectively. This study was to investigate the survival of lung cancer patients in Brunei Darussalam.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted in 2013 & 2014 for those who were diagnosed as primary lung cancer in the period of 1987 to 2012. Data were retrieved from patients’ medical records and death certificates using pretested data collection form. Survival analyses namely Kaplan-Meier method, and log-rank test to compare survival between groups.
Results: We retrieved 630 primary lung cancer records. Majority was diagnosed at the late stages, 42.5% at Stage IV & 33.4% at Stage III. The overall median survival time was 6.1 months whereas 2.6 and 79.1 months for Stage IV and Stage I respectively. The overall 6-month, 1-, 3- and 5-year survival rates were 50.2%, 32.1%, 14.5% and 8.8% respectively. Survival duration had significantly improved from 1987–1999 to 2000–2012 (P=0.001) although significant higher proportion of Stage IV was diagnosed in the second period (P=0.008).
Conclusions: Overall survival rates and duration of primary lung cancer in Brunei Darussalam were comparable with some developed countries. However, through effective public intervention such as increase awareness, early case detection, and effective anti-smoking strategies, survival of lung cancer patients can certainly be improved and the burden of disease can be reduced.