Table of Contents
Lung cancer or lung tumour is the second-most common cancer worldwide. It is among the most common types of cancer in men and the second-most common type in women. Lung malignancies account for 5.9% of all cancers and 8.1% of all cancer-related fatalities in India. Almost 80% of lung cancer patients have a history of smoking or are current smokers.
If it turns out that you or a loved one of yours has been diagnosed with a lung tumour, one of the first questions you will probably have is whether or not this cancer can be cured. And what is the survival rate?
Understanding survival rates
Survival rates can tell you what percentage of individuals who have the same cancer stage and type are still alive after a certain time period. This percentage cannot determine the length of time you will live; however, it may help you understand the probability of your treatment being successful.
Most lung cancer rates of survival are expressed as a 5-year or relative 5-year survival rate.
A 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of people who are alive 5 years after being diagnosed.
Remember that survival rates are rough estimates based on the outcomes of a large population suffering from a particular cancer, but they cannot predict the outcome in any individual’s case. Seek clarification with your physician, who is acquainted with your situation, about how these estimates may apply to you.
This article discusses the different types of lung cancer as well as the overall survival rates by stage, type, age, gender, and factors that affect lung cancer survival.
Lung cancer survival rate by type of cancer
Lung cancer can be categorised into 2 main types:
- Non-small cell lung cancer
- Small-cell lung cancer
Among the two types, non-small cell lung cancer is more prevalent than small-cell lung cancer and accounts for 80% to 85% of the cases of lung cancer, while small-cell lung cancer is responsible for 10% to 15% of lung cancer patients.
Non-small cell lung cancer is further classified by doctors into stages (the position and extent of the cancer are referred to as stages). The stage of your cancer influences how it is treated.
Relative rates of survival of non-small-cell lung cancer and small-cell lung cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year rate of survival of non-small cell lung cancer depending on the stage is:
- Cancers that are localised or limited to one lung: 63%
- Cancer that has spread to lymph nodes or organs other than the lung (regional): 35%
- Distant metastasis (cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the brain, lungs, and bones): 7%
- Across all stages: 25%
Small-cell lung cancer has a lower survival rate than other types of lung cancer.
Rates for the initial stages of small cell lung cancer are harder to determine due to the rarity with which it is diagnosed.
As a result, the 5-year rate of survival across all stages of small cell lung cancer, which is 6.5 percent as of 2017, is more commonly included.
Your doctor can assist you in explaining the specifics of your situation.
Lung cancer survival rate by stage
The rates of survival for lung cancer decline dramatically as the disease spreads (stage advances).
Up to 55% of individuals with non-small cell lung cancer are diagnosed at stage 4. Here is a glance at the overall survival rates of non-small cell lung cancer by stage:
The lung cancer stages and 5-year survival rates for non-small cell lung cancer with treatment are as follows:
- Stage 1: 54%
- Stage 2: 35%
- Stage 3A: between 10% and 15%
- Stage 3B: 5% or less
- Stage 4: less than 2% or less
Lung cancer and gender
It is observed that women are slightly more likely than men to be diagnosed with lung cancer; however, men are more inclined to die from it.
Lung cancer survival rate by age
Lung cancer kills more people each year than colon, breast, and prostate cancer combined.
According to the American Cancer Society, the average age at which an individual when diagnosed with lung cancer is 70 years, with the bulk of those diagnosed who are above the age of 65.
Adults under the age of 45 are diagnosed with lung cancer in an extremely small number of cases.
Factors that affect lung cancer survival
While this data is useful to some extent, survival rates are statistical data and do not always provide a precise estimate of how long a specific individual will live with the disease.
There are numerous factors that influence the rate of lung cancer survival that must be considered. These may include:
- Age: In younger individuals, when lung cancer is detected, it is more likely that they will live a longer life.
- Sex: For each stage of lung cancer, women have a better outcome (prognosis).
- Race: African Americans have lower survival rates than Asian or white people.
- Co-morbid conditions: People with certain other serious illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, or other respiratory ailments, have a lower rate of survival than have those with no pre-existing health concerns.
- Lung cancer complications: There are numerous lung tumour complications, a few of which may reduce survival rates.
- Treatment response: Chemotherapy for lung cancer and other treatments frequently have temporary side effects; however, in certain cases, medicines or radiotherapy can cause some serious health problems. Cancer treatment may lead to heart damage, lung damage, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease, which could worsen the overall health and reduce the survival rates of a patient.
- Smoking: Smoking after a lung cancer diagnosis can reduce the rate of survival. Giving up smoking has been shown to improve survival rates in both non-small cell lung cancer (early-stage) and small-cell lung cancer.
A note by LivLong
Lung cancer is a fatal disease, but treatment advances are being made each day, and the survival rate of lung tumour is rising steadily. The earlier the stage of diagnosis, the better the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Lung cancer survival rates vary greatly depending on the stage, type of cancer, and age of the patient. Advanced lung cancer survival rates, in which the tumour has spread to other organs in the body, have a lower overall survival rate than early-stage lung cancer.
Survival rates could give you an idea of what is coming, but your cancer type, stage, age, and general health can all have an impact on your prognosis.
Consultation with a specialist for lungs is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment. Chemotherapy and surgery are common lung cancer cure treatments, with success rates varying depending on the stage of cancer. Finally, maintaining lung health and detecting lung cancer early through screening is critical to improving lung cancer survival rates.
How long can you live after being diagnosed with lung cancer?
Lung cancer survival rates can vary greatly depending on a number of parameters, including the type and stage of cancer, age, general health, along with some other individual factors. Overall, the earlier lung cancer is identified, the better the prognosis.
Can you live 20 years with lung cancer?
It is possible, even though it is uncommon, for someone to live for 20 years with lung cancer. Lung cancer survival rates vary greatly depending on a variety of factors, including the type and stage of cancer, age, general health, and other case-specific factors. While some people develop a more aggressive form of lung cancer that spreads quickly, others develop a less severe form that responds well to treatment and allows them to continue living for many years.
What is the lung cancer patient's survival time without treatment?
Without treatment, the survival rate for lung cancer is generally poor. In general, the earlier lung cancer is detected, the better the prognosis. Lung cancer, on the other hand, can spread quickly and cause serious complications if left untreated.
Individuals with untreated non-small cell lung cancer (the most common type of illness) may live for between five and twelve months. On the other hand, people with small cell lung cancer typically live for three to fifteen months, depending on the stage.
Can you ever survive lung cancer?
Approximately 2 in 5 individuals who have the disorder survive for a minimum of a year after the cancer is detected, and around 1 in 10 live for at least ten years; however, survival rates greatly depend on the extent to which cancer has advanced at the time of its identification. An early diagnosis could perhaps make a significant difference.