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What are the chances that my lung cancer will come back?

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Your doctor can give you the best sense of what you can expect. It depends on your cancer's stage. In general, the higher your stage, the greater chance it'll come back. For example, research shows that one in three people with stage I will have a recurrence. For those with stage III, it will return about 63% of the time.

From: When Lung Cancer Comes Back WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “What is Cancer Recurrence?” “Small Cell Lung Cancer Stages,” “Treatment Choices for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, by Stage.”

American Lung Association: “Lung Cancer.”

Canadian Cancer Society: “Treatment for Recurrent Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.”

Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology : “Relapse of Stage I Small Cell Lung Cancer Ten or More Years After the Start of Treatment.”

Journal of the National Cancer Institute : “Lung Cancer Prognosis Before and After Recurrence in a Population-Based Setting.”

Mayo Clinic: “When Cancer Returns: How to Cope with Cancer Recurrence.”

National Cancer Institute: “Targeted Cancer Therapies,” “Immunotherapy to Treat Cancer.”

National Organization for Rare Disorders: “Small Cell Lung Cancer.”

Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology : “Relapsed Small Cell Lung Cancer: Treatment Options and Latest Developments.”

University of California San Francisco Department of Surgery: “Small Cell Lung Cancer.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on September 19, 2019

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “What is Cancer Recurrence?” “Small Cell Lung Cancer Stages,” “Treatment Choices for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, by Stage.”

American Lung Association: “Lung Cancer.”

Canadian Cancer Society: “Treatment for Recurrent Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.”

Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology : “Relapse of Stage I Small Cell Lung Cancer Ten or More Years After the Start of Treatment.”

Journal of the National Cancer Institute : “Lung Cancer Prognosis Before and After Recurrence in a Population-Based Setting.”

Mayo Clinic: “When Cancer Returns: How to Cope with Cancer Recurrence.”

National Cancer Institute: “Targeted Cancer Therapies,” “Immunotherapy to Treat Cancer.”

National Organization for Rare Disorders: “Small Cell Lung Cancer.”

Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology : “Relapsed Small Cell Lung Cancer: Treatment Options and Latest Developments.”

University of California San Francisco Department of Surgery: “Small Cell Lung Cancer.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on September 19, 2019

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What are signs that my lung cancer may be back?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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