Depending on the type of tumor, the survivability of lung cancer varies widely. I can develop quickly or slowly and rarely shows symptoms until the tumor begins to grow. The patient’s ability to recover from lung cancer depends on a variety of factors, including stage of cancer, general health and treatment goals.
Survivability of Lung Cancer
For non-small cell lung cancer, the more common type of lung cancer, a patient’s prognosis depends on the stage of the disease and the patient’s ability to have surgery. The survivability of lung cancer in the first and second stage is modestly high. The third stage of cancer can oftentimes be cured, but stage four cancer is never cured because the cancer has also invaded critical organs in the body. In this stage, treatment goals usually try to extend the patient’s life or relieve symptoms. Chemotherapy has proven successful at prolonging life.
For patients with fast growing small cell lung cancer, the prognosis depends on how much the cancer has spread. Since this type of cancer is extremely deadly, only six percent of patients live for five more years.
As with any treatment, side effects can occur that affect a patient’s ability to recover. Some of these complications are caused by treatments and others are caused by recurring cancer. Follow-up care is critical to a patient’s prognosis.