Psychosocial risk factors for lung cancer.

Psychosomatic medicine

PubMedID: 538211

Horne RL, Picard RS. Psychosocial risk factors for lung cancer. Psychosom Med. 1979;41(7):503-14.
The existence of psychosocial risk factors for the development of malignancy has been postulated by many investigators. This study investigated selected psychosocial factors as predictors of malignancy. 110 male patients with undiagnosed subacute or chronic pulmonary x-ray lesions participated in a semistructured interview. Ratings were made of 5 subscales: 1) childhood instability, 2) job stability, 3) marriage stability, 4) lack of plans for the future, and 5) recent significant loss. The composite scale correctly predicted the diagnosis of 53 (80%) of the 66 patients with benign disease and 27 (61%) of the 44 with lung cancer. The scale was at least as important as smoking history in predicting diagnoses. Thus, significant psychosocial risk factors for the development of malignant disease might well be incorporated in selecting high-risk individuals for cytological or other screening for lung cancer.