Non Small Cell Lung Cancer Prognosis by sheila-parker


									                                  Non Small Cell Lung Cancer Prognosis

What Are Small Cell Lung Cancer Survival Rates?

A question asked often when someone is diagnosed with small cell lung cancer is “what are small cell
lung cancer survival rates?” This isn’t unexpected, given the reputation of lung cancer as having a poor
prognosis relative to some other forms of cancer. Before answering the question, though, it is important to
talk a little about how the answer -– the statistical answer –- is derived.

Variables that Affect Survival:

Small cell lung cancer survival can vary considerably among different people. Some of these variables

   The stage and possible spread of your cancer – Small cell lung cancer may be localized to your lungs
(limited stage small cell lung cancer) or have spread to regions of your body beyond your lungs
(extensive stage small cell lung cancer). Spread to the brain and liver in particular are associated with
poorer survival.

  Your age – Younger people tend to live longer than older people with lung cancer.

  Your sex – The survival rate is higher for women with lung cancer at each stage of lung cancer.

   Your general health at the time of diagnosis – Being healthy overall at the time of diagnosis (something
known as performance status) is associated with longer survival and a greater ability to withstand
treatments that may extend survival.

  How you respond to treatment – Side effects of treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation
therapy, vary among different people, and may limit your ability to tolerate treatment.

   Other health conditions you may have – Health conditions such as emphysema may lower small cell
lung cancer survival.

  Complications of lung cancer – Complications such as blood clots can lower lung cancer survival.

   An increased level of the substances lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) or alkaline phosphatase, or a low
level of sodium in your blood, is associated with poorer survival.

  Smoking - Continued smoking after a diagnosis of small cell lung cancer likely lowers survival.

Small Cell Lung Cancer Survival Rates – The Statistics:

When looking at survival rates, it is important to keep in mind that not only do these numbers vary
between different people, but they are statistics that are often a few years old. For example, the most
recent statistics we have about small cell lung cancer survival rates are from 2007. With advances in
treatment, statistics may not be the same as they were when newer treatments were unavailable. Over
the past several years, survival rates have improved with the use of radiation therapy and prophylactic
cranial irradiation (PCI).

That said, the overall survival rate for small cell lung cancer remains low. For limited stage small cell lung
cancer, the median survival with treatment (that is, the time at which half of people are still living with the
disease and half have died) is 18 to 24 months. The 5-year survival rate for limited stage disease is
roughly 14%.

For extensive stage small cell lung cancer, the median survival is 6 to 12 months with treatment, and only
2 to 4 months without treatment.
There's one last thing that is very important to keep in mind. While small cell lung cancer is not usually
curable, it is treatable. These treatments may not only improve survival, but help with the symptoms of
lung cancer as well. Several treatments are currently being evaluated in clinical trials, and offer hope that
small cell lung cancer survival will improve in the future.

Non-small cell lung cancer survival rates by stage:

Survival rates are often used by doctors as a standard way of discussing a person's prognosis (outlook).
Some patients may want to know the survival statistics for people in similar situations, while others may
not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. Whether or not you want to read about
the survival statistics below for non-small cell lung cancer is up to you. If you decide that you don’t want to
know them, stop reading here and skip to the next section.

The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is
diagnosed. Of course, many of these people live much longer than 5 years.

To get 5-year survival rates, doctors look at people who were treated at least 5 years ago. Improvements
in treatment since then may result in a more favorable outlook for people now being diagnosed with non-
small cell lung cancer.

Survival rates are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had the disease,
but they cannot predict what will happen to any particular person. Knowing the type and the stage of a
person's cancer is important in estimating their outlook. But many other factors may also affect a person's
outlook, such as the genetic changes in the cancer cells, how well the cancer responds to treatment, and
a person's overall health. Even when taking these other factors into account, survival rates are at best
rough estimates. Your doctor can tell you how the numbers below may apply to you.

The numbers below are survival rates calculated from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance,
Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, based on people who were diagnosed with non-small
cell lung cancer.

        Stage                5-year Survival Rate
        IA                   49%
        IB                   45%
        IIA                  30%
        IIB                  31%
        IIIA                 14%
        IIIB                 5%
        IV                   1%

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