The prognosis of lung cancer refers to the probability for prolongation of life or the cure. It is base on the size of the cancer, the presence of symptoms, the type of lung cancer, where the cancer is located, and the general health condition of the patient.
Comparing with other cancers, the prognosis for lung cancer is poor. Survival rates for lung cancer are generally lower about 16% compared to 89% for breast cancer, over 99% for prostate cancer and 65% for colon cancer.
The patients are often diagnosed in late stages with advanced disease and it becomes the reason for poor lung cancer prognosis.
Base on the data of the American Cancer Society, they estimates that in 2006 there is 81,770 women and 92,700 men will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and 162,460 men and women will die in the same period.
Lung cancer prognosis: The factors
Weight loss – Loss of more than 5 percent of weight loss in three to six months before diagnosis is an indicator of poor prognosis.
Lung cancer stage – The prognosis is poorer if the stage is higher. This depends on the size of the tumor, whether it has metastasized to other tissue of the body or organs.
Other factors – The male sex and certain biochemical markers like reduced serum sodium levels, raised lactate dehydrogenase levels, and elevated serum alkaline phosphatase levels also indicate poor prognosis.
Lung cancer prognosis: Survival rates
General estimates of lung cancer survival rates are as follows:
- Stage 1a: > 5 years
- Stage 1b: 3 years
- Stage 2a: 2 years
- Stage 2b: < 2 years
- Stage 3a: < 1.5 years
- Stage 3b: 1 year
- Stage 4: < 1 year