Lung Cancer Prognosis

Factors Influencing the Lung Cancer Prognosis

The American Cancer Society estimates that 174,470 men and women (92,700 men and 81,770 women) will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2006, and 162,460 men and women will die in the same time period.
The lung cancer prognosis will depend on:
  • The stage of lung cancer (see Lung Cancer Stages)
  • The lung cancer type (see Types of Lung Cancer)
  • Whether there are symptoms (such as coughing or trouble breathing)
  • The patient's general health
  • Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred (come back).


Lung Cancer Prognosis: What Are Survival Rates?

Survival rates indicate the percentage of people with a certain type and stage of cancer who survive the disease for a specific period of time after their diagnosis. In most cases, statistics refer to the 5-year survival rate. The 5-year survival rate is the percentage of people who are alive 5 years after diagnosis, whether they have few or no signs or symptoms of cancer, are free of disease, or are having treatment. Survival rates are based on large groups of people -- they cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular patient. No two patients are exactly alike, and lung cancer treatment and responses to treatment vary greatly.


Lung Cancer Prognosis: Survival Rates

Survival rates can be calculated by different methods for different purposes. The survival rates presented here are based on the relative survival rate. The relative survival rate measures the survival of lung cancer patients in comparison to the general population to estimate the effect of cancer. The overall 5-year relative lung cancer survival rate for 1995-2002 was 15 percent. The 5-year relative lung cancer survival rates by race and sex were:
  • 13.4 percent for white men
  • 17.4 percent for white women
  • 10.5 percent for black men
  • 14.5 percent for black women.
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Lung Cancer Information

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