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Life Expectancy of Lung Cancer Patients Based on their Stadium

The life expectancy of lung cancer patients is often a big question, not only from the patient but also his family. Lung cancer itself is one type of malignancy that is commonly found in the world. In addition, lung cancer is often fatal.

Lung cancer occurs when cells in the lungs grow irregularly and form tumors. Tumors can be non-cancerous or cancerous. Malignant tumors are a collection of a large number of cancer cells that have the ability to spread to other parts of the body. The death rate from lung cancer depends on the type of cancer.

Risk Factors for Lung Cancer

The specific cause of lung cancer is still unknown. However, there are several factors that increase the likelihood of developing lung cancer.

  • Smoking - This can be a major cause of lung cancer. The likelihood of lung cancer developing is 10 to 30 times greater in smokers than nonsmokers. Nicotine in cigarettes damages lung cells, causing abnormalities in cells. The possibility of developing cancer depends on the number of cigarettes smoked and how long the person has smoked.
  • Toxic substances and environmental pollution - Cigarette smoke, asbestos, radon, arsenic, radiation and other chemicals, including dust and vapors from nickel, chrome, and other metals, can be a risk factor for lung cancer.
  • Age - The older a person is, the higher the risk of lung cancer. In general, this risk increases at the age of 40 years, but lung cancer can also develop at a younger age.
  • Family history - Families or relatives who have a history of lung cancer have a higher risk of lung cancer compared to those whose families have no history of lung cancer, even though they are not smokers.

People who have a risk of lung cancer should see a doctor to learn how to reduce the development of cancer and to conduct routine health checks. For those who have had lung cancer and are undergoing treatment, regular follow-up visits are needed to prevent this cancer from recurring.




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Life expectancy is not always the same

The life expectancy stated by the doctor is commonly questioned by cancer patients and their families. Then, how much does the stage level affect the life expectancy of patients with lung cancer?

When compared with cancer in other organs, such as in the breast, prostate, or colorectal, lung cancer patients can be said to have a lower life expectancy.

There are two types of lung cancer, namely non-small cell lung cancer / NSCLC and small cell lung cancer / SCLC. Non-small cell lung cancer is more common, in approximately 85 percent of lung cancer cases.

Each type of lung cancer is then further divided based on the stage.

How to determine the stage of cancer?

The division of the stage of cancer is carried out by paying attention to several factors, such as the size of cancer, and its spread to lymph nodes and other organs (metastasis). This is very important because it can help determine the cancer management protocol, and estimate the life expectancy of the sufferer.

Life expectancy can provide an idea of how cancer patients with the same type and stage survive for a certain period of time. Often what is used is a period of five years.

So, this number is only a general description. It cannot be used as a specific benchmark in individual cases. The life expectancy cannot be sure how long you will survive lung cancer.

For example, if the life expectancy is 70 percent, then it can be interpreted that the average lung cancer sufferer has the same possibility of 70 percent with those without lung cancer to survive for the next 5 years.

For non-small cell lung cancer, the distribution of stages and life expectancies are as follows:

Stage 1

Cancer is only found in the lungs. Life expectancy is 68-92 percent.

Stage 2

Cancer can be found in the lungs and lymph nodes around. Life expectancy is 53-60 percent.

Stage 3

Cancer can be found in the lungs and lymph nodes in the chest area. Life expectancy is 26-36 percent.

Stage 4

Lung cancer spreads to both lungs, or to other organs in the body. Life expectancy is 10 percent but can be below 1 percent if cancer experiences metastasis.

While for small cell lung cancer, stage division can also be done. However, it is more often categorized as local, regional, and remote. The division is as follows:

Local

Cancer does not spread out of the lungs. Life expectancy is 29 percent.

Regional

Cancer has spread out of the lungs but is limited to the structure of lymph nodes around. Life expectancy is 15 percent.

Remote

Cancer has spread to other parts of the body, for example in the lung next to it, brain, bone, or liver. Life expectancy is 3 percent.

When compared, life expectancy in small cell lung cancer is indeed smaller than in non-small cells. This is due to small cell lung cancer that is more aggressive and can spread rapidly.

However, in both types of lung cancer, life expectancy will be better if cancer can be found at an early stage (not yet spread).

The life expectancy of cancer patients is indeed a dream of patients and families. Unfortunately, it is estimated that only 16 percent of lung cancer sufferers are diagnosed at an early stage. It could be, this is also what causes lung cancer often ends fatally so that the life expectancy of lung cancer patients becomes low. For this reason, awareness is needed to always undergo a routine health check to prevent deterioration in the condition of internal medicine.





References

References

1. Yu JB, Decker RH, Detterbeck FC, et al. Surveillance epidemiology and end results evaluation of the role of surgery for stage I small cell lung cancer. J Thorac Oncol 2010

2. Govindan R, Page N, Morgensztern D, et al. Changing epidemiology of small-cell lung cancer in the United States over the last 30 years: analysis of the surveillance, epidemiologic, and end results database. J Clin Oncol 2006


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