Are you wondering about the average survival rate for a particular type and stage of lung cancer? We have several different types of statistics available, but before looking at these numbers it is important to talk about a few things.
Survival rates for lung cancer are different for each person. There are many factors which can either increase or decrease these numbers. Yet, survival rates also need to be understood. It’s important to understand where these numbers come from, and why they can be misleading or even completely inaccurate, before looking at your numbers.
What Is a Survival Rate?
Lung cancer survival rates are a measure of how many people remain alive with lung cancer after a certain amount of time. For example, a five-year survival rate of 40 percent for a condition would mean that 40 percent of people, or 40 out of 100 people, would be alive after five years.
When talking about lung cancer, physicians often use the term median survivalas well. Median survival is the amount of time at which 50 percent of people with a condition will have died, and 50 percent are still alive.
Lung cancer survival rates are statistics and don’t necessarily give an accurate estimate of how long an individual will survive with a certain disease. There are many factors that affect lung cancer survival rates, including general health, sex, race, and treatments used. Additionally, smoking cessation is demonstrated to improve survival in patients with early–stage non-small cell lung cancer and in some patients with small cell lung cancer.
Accuracy of the Rates
Not everyone living with lung cancer is interested in hearing statistics about survival rates. Some people want to know what they can expect (statistically that is) with their particular type of lung cancer, whereas others find numbers about survival rates to be discouraging.
It is important for loved ones to be sensitive to this and honor the wishes of their loved one with cancer. That said, even if you aren’t interested in statistics, there are things you can do to raise your odds. These are things other than surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy that have been found to increase survival in well-researched studies, and many of them are quite simple, such as finding strong support.