Lung Cancer (non-small cell) Overview

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Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS

Survival rates for non-small cell lung cancer

Some people with cancer may want to know the survival rates for their type of cancer. Others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. If you decide that you don’t want to know them, stop reading here and skip to the next section.

Survival rates are a way for doctors and patients to get a general idea of the outlook for people with a certain type and stage of cancer. The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is found. Of course, some patients 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 better outlook for people now being 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%

* The numbers above are 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 between 1998 and 2000.

While these numbers provide an overall picture, keep in mind that every person’s situation is unique and the statistics can’t predict exactly what will happen in your case. Talk with your cancer care team if you have questions about your own chances of a cure, or how long you might survive your cancer. They know your situation best.


Last Medical Review: 09/05/2013
Last Revised: 02/11/2014