Surviving Cancer: What Are the Chances of Surviving Stage 4 Lung Cancer?

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“What are the chances of surviving stage 4 lung cancer?” is one of the most common questions asked by lung cancer patient and their caregiver. This is expected. After all, about 40% people already have their lung cancer progressed to stage 4 at the moment they are diagnosed. We have the answer for you here. Before that, let’s know what a survival rate is.


What Is Survival Rate?

So, before we give the answer to “What are the chances of surviving stage 4 lung cancer?” let’s understand what a survival rate is. Put it simply, a survival rate is an estimate of the number of lung cancer patients who are alive by a certain time after they were diagnosed. For instance, a 5-year survival rate means how many patients are living 5 years after they were diagnosed.

While it can give you a picture of the situation, you also need to remember that it is only a measure. A different body has a different reaction not only to lung cancer but to treatment as well. Don’t get discouraged.

Factors Affecting Survival

There are many factors that can affect the survival of stage 4 lung cancer. Here are some examples:

  • Health

A patient’s general health at the time of diagnosis affects the survival rate. An overall healthy patient tends to have a longer life expectancy as well as better ability to hold out treatments which may extend survival.

  • Age

The younger the patient is, the more chance of survival they have. Although this is true, keep in mind that lung cancer in young adults can be different from one another.

  • Sex

The survival rate for a woman with lung cancer is higher than a man with lung cancer. This tendency exists at each stage of lung cancer.

  • Lung cancer type and location

At stage 4, the cancer is already metastasized. Meaning, it already spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can spread to only one distant region or it can spread extensively around the body. When only a few of the lung cancer is metastasized or there are liver metastases, treatment with the aim of long-term survival will be more possible.

  • Response to treatment

The treatments for cancer have side effects. The better the patient’s ability to tolerate these treatments, the better the survival rate will be.

The Number

And now, to answer “What are the chances of surviving stage 4 lung cancer?” The 5-year survival rate of stage 4 lung cancer is, unfortunately, only 4%. This means, in 5 years after diagnosis, only 4 out of 100 stage 4 lung cancer patients are expected to survive.

Although it may sound low, the fact is that there are many patients who are long-term survivors of stage 4 lung cancer. During the 2016 HOPE Summit held in Washington, D.C., there are more than 300 people who are lung cancer survivors. Tens of them survived stage 4 lung cancer for at least a decade. Indeed, there is hope. A real hope, not a false one.

So that’s it. The 5-year survival rate for stage 4 lung cancer is 4%. It sounds low but you should not get discouraged. Remember, there are many people who survived stage 4 lung cancer. We hope this article helps.

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