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Survival statistics for non–small cell lung cancer
Survival statistics for non–small cell lung cancer are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because these statistics are based on the experience of groups of people, they cannot be used to predict a particular person’s chances of survival.
There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for non–small cell lung cancer and what they mean to you.
Net survival for lung cancer
Net survival represents the probability (chance) of surviving cancer in the absence of other causes of death. It is used to give an estimate of the percentage of people who will survive cancer.
In Canada, the 5-year net survival for lung cancer is 19%. This means that, on average, about 19% of people diagnosed with lung cancer will live for at least 5 years.
Survival varies with each stage of lung cancer. Generally, the earlier lung cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.
Survival for non–small cell lung cancer
There are no specific Canadian statistics available for the different stages of non–small cell lung cancer. The following information comes from a worldwide study called the IASLC Lung Cancer Staging Project. This study collected survival data about lung cancer on more than 81,000 patients from 19 countries, including Canada. The study looked at overall survival, which is the length of time from diagnosis or starting treatment that people diagnosed with the disease are still alive. It uses updated lung cancer staging categories that divide stages into several substages.
|Stage||5-year overall survival|
66% to 68%
52% to 60%
47% to 53%
19% to 26%
Questions about survival
Talk to your doctor about your prognosis. A prognosis depends on many factors, including:
- your health history
- the type of lung cancer
- the stage
- certain aspects of the cancer, such as genetic changes to the cancer cells
- the treatments chosen
- how the cancer responds to treatment
Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.