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Can you survive lung cancer?

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Like other cancers, it’s easiest to treat lung cancer if you find it early. It also depends on what type of lung cancer you have. Overall, only 17% are still alive five years after they find out they have it. But that number doesn’t tell the whole story.

For those whose cancer is “local,” meaning that it hasn’t spread, slightly more than half -- 54% -- are still living five years later.

If it has spread to nearby parts of the body but not far, roughly a quarter are still alive after five years. Among people whose lung cancer has spread to far parts of their body, 4% live at least five years.

The same disease may act differently in different people. Ask your doctor what you can expect as you start treatment.

From: Which Cancers Take the Most Lives? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “Cancer Facts & Figures 2016.”

National Cancer Institute.

American Lung Association.

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Pancreatic Cancer: Symptoms and Signs."

CDC: "Leading Causes of Death," "Lung Cancer Risk by Age," "Trends in Current Cigarette Smoking - Smoking & Tobacco Use."

Colon Cancer Alliance: "Colon Cancer Statistics."

Durand, M.  , January 2015. Radiology

Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research: "Pancreatic Cancer Facts."

Julie Brahmer, MD, associate professor, oncology; director, Thoracic Oncology Program at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Otis Brawley, MD, FACP, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.

Pisano, Etta D.  , February 2008. Radiology

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Breast Cancer Screening," "How Did the USPSTF Arrive at This Recommendation? Prostate Cancer Screening,” “Lung Cancer: Screening.”

Lung Cancer Alliance: “Is Lung Cancer Screening Covered by Insurance?”

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: “Decision Memo for Screening for Lung Cancer with Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT).”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on November 14, 2018

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “Cancer Facts & Figures 2016.”

National Cancer Institute.

American Lung Association.

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Pancreatic Cancer: Symptoms and Signs."

CDC: "Leading Causes of Death," "Lung Cancer Risk by Age," "Trends in Current Cigarette Smoking - Smoking & Tobacco Use."

Colon Cancer Alliance: "Colon Cancer Statistics."

Durand, M.  , January 2015. Radiology

Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research: "Pancreatic Cancer Facts."

Julie Brahmer, MD, associate professor, oncology; director, Thoracic Oncology Program at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Otis Brawley, MD, FACP, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.

Pisano, Etta D.  , February 2008. Radiology

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Breast Cancer Screening," "How Did the USPSTF Arrive at This Recommendation? Prostate Cancer Screening,” “Lung Cancer: Screening.”

Lung Cancer Alliance: “Is Lung Cancer Screening Covered by Insurance?”

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: “Decision Memo for Screening for Lung Cancer with Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT).”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on November 14, 2018

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