Lung Cancer Prognosis

Lung Cancer Prognosis: Impact of Stage

The lung cancer stage plays a role in the lung cancer prognosis. Based on historical data:
  • 16 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed while the cancer is still confined to the primary site (localized stage)
  • 37 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed after the cancer has spread to regional lymph nodes or directly beyond the primary site
  • 39 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed after the cancer has already metastasized (distant stage)
  • 8 percent of lung cancer cases had staging information that was unknown.
The corresponding 5-year relative survival rates were:
  • 49.3 percent for localized
  • 15.5 percent for regional
  • 2.1 percent for distant
  • 7.9 percent for unstaged.

Lung Cancer Prognosis: Summary

Cancer patients and their loved ones face many unknowns. While some people find that it is easier to cope when they know the statistics, other people find statistical information confusing and frightening, and they think it is too impersonal to be of use to them. The doctor who is most familiar with a patient's situation is in the best position to discuss the lung cancer prognosis and to explain what the statistics concerning lung cancer may mean for that person.
At the same time, it is important to understand that even the doctor cannot know exactly what to expect. In fact, a person's prognosis may change if the cancer progresses, or if treatment is successful. Seeking information about the lung cancer prognosis is a personal decision, and it is up to each patient to decide how much information he or she wants to know and how to deal with it.
(Click Lung Cancer Statistics for more statistics on lung cancer.)
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