Is Lung Cancer Treatable If Caught Early?
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Your doctor will tell you about n-year survival (‘n’ points to 1, 5, or 10 years). This relates to the number of patients in studies who lived for at least n-year after they were diagnosed.
This survival rate statistics are usually based on previous outcomes of people who have the disease. It can help doctor estimate the outlook of patient (rough estimation). However again, this cannot predict exactly about what will happen to any patient.
In 2007, a study (worldwide study) based on data collected from more than 81,000 patients in 19 countries, released the general outlook of lung cancer in each stage. The stage of patient was found in some different ways such as during imaging tests (like x-rays or CT-scan test) or even during surgery. Therefore, this study released the survival rate in a range of statistics.
The type of your lung cancer also affects your treatment plan. In general, there two main types; non-small cell and small cell lung cancer (see more these types in this section)!
Among four main stages of lung cancer, stage-I is the earliest stage (the best scenario for the prognosis and outlook of patient, the best outcome). Stage I is a completely localized stage which means the cancer is still completely in the lung and there is no any lymph nodes affected.
Typically, non-small cell lung cancer at stage-I is often possible to be removed completely with surgery and the cancer is less likely to return afterward. The n-year survival is also very good.
- Stage IA of non-small lung cancer has about 58-73 percent of 5 year survival. This means about 58-73 patients out of every 100 will survive 5 years or more. Stage IA is a condition of when cancerous tumor is still very small (smaller than 3 cm).
- Stage IB of non-small lung cancer has about 43-58 percent of 5 year survival. Stage IB is when the cancerous tumor is about 3-5 cm.
How about small cell lung cancer? It is likely to spread quite quickly. Therefore, it is rarely found at early stage. It is exclusive form of lung cancer in smokers (it can affect non-smokers, but very rare).
Overall, it’s quite rare to catch lung cancer early. There is usually no early sign and symptom. Even many times it is diagnosed accidentally. There are many patients who get the diagnosis of lung cancer when taking tests for other medical conditions.
So generally, the prognosis of lung cancer is not very good (if compared with other cancers). And again, the mortality rate of the disease is high in many countries. Even in the U.S, it is the leading answer of death linked to cancer, according to CDC.