OBJECTIVES: There have been no previous reports examining how the travel distance affects the outcomes of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. In this study, we examined the influence of the distance from home to the hospital on patients with NSCLC who underwent surgical resection. METHODS: From 2006 to 2011, 607 consecutive patients with NSCLC who had undergone pulmonary resection were enrolled. The patients were divided into three groups according to the distance from their home to the hospital: 0 < 10, 10-30 and > 30 km. We analysed the short-term and long-term outcomes according to the group. RESULTS: Two hundred and ninety-six patients lived less than 10 km from the hospital, 111 patients lived 10-30 km and 200 patients lived more than 30 km. There were no differences in the demographics, including age, European Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, histological type, surgical procedure and pathological stage, between the three groups. The mean postoperative hospital stay was as follows: 13.9 days in the < 10 km group, 13.3 days in the 10-30 km group and 14.3 days in the > 30 km group (P = 0.04). There were no significant differences in the median length of follow-up (50, 47, 43 months, P = 0.24), disease-free survival (DFS) (5-year DFS, 68.1, 68.2 and 70.1%, P = 0.89) or overall survival (OS) (5-year OS, 80.6, 78.8 and 79.4%, P = 0.99) between the three groups. CONCLUSIONS: The distance between home and the hospital was not found to influence the long-term outcomes of the patients with surgically resected NSCLC. Therefore, the travel distance should not represent a contraindication to surgical resection and postoperative therapy for NSCLC.
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