What Are My Chances of Beating Lung Cancer?

Beating Lung Cancer large

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

What Are My Chances of Beating Lung Cancer?

Hearing the words “lung cancer” from your doctor is certainly one of the “before and after” events in life. Your mind races from wondering about treatment to thinking about your chances of recovery.

As you talk with your health care provider, she’ll share as much as you want to know about your chances for recovery, also known as your prognosis. 

Five main factors have a role in every lung cancer prognosis, which can change as time goes by. The greatest influencers of your recovery chances are: 

  • The type of lung cancer you have. The main three types are: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), small cell lung cancer (SCLC), and carcinoid.
  • The stage (extent) of your lung cancer
An unfavorable prognosis can change if your treatment is working well.

- For SCLC, most doctors use a 2-stage system that divides SCLC into limited stage and extensive stage. 

-For NSCLC, a “TNM system” is used to describe the stage: 1) The size of the main tumor (T) and whether it has grown into nearby areas 2) Whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes (N). 3) Whether the cancer has spread (metastasized; M) to other organs of the body. 

  • Your overall health
  • Your treatment decisions
  • How well your cancer responds to treatment

Truth is, lung cancer outcomes are hard to predict. A favorable prognosis – which means you’re likely going to do well – can change if the cancer spreads to key organs or doesn’t respond to treatment. Likewise, an unfavorable prognosis can change if your treatment is working well.

Five-Year Survival Rates for Lung Cancer

Beating Lung Cancer small

It’s OK if you don’t want to know about the survival rate for lung cancer. Not every woman does! Whatever makes it easier for you to cope is the route you should take.

Survival rates tell us the percentage of people who are alive for a defined length of time after being diagnosed with a particular cancer, such as how many people are alive five years after being diagnosed with lung cancer. 

Five-year survival rates for lung cancer are:

  • About 17 percent overall
  • 54 percent for cases when the disease is limited to the lungs
  • 27 percent if the lung cancer has reached nearby organs or lymph nodes
  • 4 percent if it has spread to distant organs such as the liver

Again, many factors other than stage can affect survival rates. For example, people with NSCLC tend to have a slightly better outlook than people with SCLC.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.