Staging & Prognosis of Lung Cancer
The extent of the cancer is described as its stage, and this is important in deciding on the appropriate treatment and the likely prognosis of lung cancer.
In the case of non small cell lung cancer, early stage disease (stage I and II) can often be treated surgically, whereas more advanced disease is treated more commonly with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Five year survival rates show a range from 60% for Stage I, to less than 10% for Stage IV disease.
Small cell lung cancer is treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, with little role for surgery. However long-term survival rates remain poor with only 15-20% of patients with limited disease surviving 5 years or more and less than 10% of those with extensive disease at presentation are alive at 5 years.
Very few patients with mesothelioma are considered for surgery and treatment is palliative with the aim of symptom control.
Survival from the time of diagnosis is approximately 7-12 months, with fewer than 5% of patients living beyond 5 years.