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Five-Year Survival Rates

(from the National Cancer Institute's Physician Data Query System, July, 2002)

Host (patient) factors, which contribute to better survivals, include good performance status, female gender, and age at diagnosis over 70 years. Prognosis is also based on clinical stage (including size and location of tumor) and cell type (small vs. non-small cell; mucinous vs. non-mucinous; collagen content vs. no collagen). Weight loss prior to diagnosis is an unfavorable sign, as is bilateral involvement of the tumor at diagnosis.

Non-small cell lung cancer (five-year survival with treatment)

  • Occult Stage 75-85% positive cytology but no evidence of primary tumor or lymph node involvement
  • Stage 0 (too few cases to evaluate)
  • Stage I 54%
  • Stage II 35%
  • Stage IIIA 10-15% lymph nodes involved on same side (ipsilateral) as primary
  • Stage IIIB < 5% contralateral lymph nodes involved
  • Stage IV < 2%

Small cell lung cancer (Two year disease-free survival with treatment)
Extensive stage 0-2% (roughly equal to Stage III and IV)