Lung Cancer Prognosis

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Lung cancer prognosis (chance of recovery) is most encouraging when the disease is diagnosed in the early stages. This allows more options for treatment, including the incorporation of alternative cancer remedies in mainstream treatment. Considering how low the survival rates are for this type of cancer, everyone should know the symptoms of lung cancer and seek medical diagnosis as soon as possible if any signs of the disease are present.

There is a long list of possible symptoms, and, of course, not everyone who has lung cancer will exhibit all symptoms. The most common signs are persistent cough and chest pain, wheezing, fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, hoarseness, loss of appetite and weight loss, and swelling of the face and neck. Immediate diagnosis may mean the difference between survival for several years, and imminent death.

Lung Cancer Prognosis by Stages

The best lung cancer prognosis is for stage I of non small cell lung cancer, in which the standard treatment of lung cancer surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are options. Even then, however, the five year survival rate is only 60-80 percent, depending on how advanced the cancer is. By the time the cancer reaches stage IV, the five year survival rate is down to less than one percent.

The very aggressive small cell lung cancer is so deadly that it is not described in stages. It is either limited or extensive, and the survival rate is measured in two-year and five-year intervals. The best lung cancer prognosis here is for limited small cell survival at two years, and that is 20-30 percent. At the five-year mark, the survival rate for extensive small cell is none.

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