One of the most fatal diseases for which medical science is still struggling to find a definite cure is cancer. cancer in any form is life-threatening; in addition to the agony it causes to the individual who suffers from it, the slow deterioration of the individual torments the loved ones as well. cancer, when detected in the initial stages can be cured, but when it metastasizes, i.e. reaches the last stage of cancer, the chances of survival are quite thin. This fact holds true to every type of cancer.
Lung cancer is one of the common type of cancers that has claimed plenty of lives till date. Lung cancer occurs when an individual smokes a lot or is exposed to secondhand smoke. There are two types of lung cancer – small cell lung cancer, that occurs in heavy smokers, and non-small cell lung cancer, which is an umbrella term for the different types of lung cancer which has similar symptoms.
As mentioned earlier, cancer in the initial stages can be treated, and this is applicable to lung cancer as well. However, when the cancer tumor in the lung spreads to the other parts of the body, i.e. it metastasizes, it becomes difficult to treat it. This stage is known as metastatic lung cancer. It is imperative to understand that metastatic lung cancer that spreads from the primary site, i.e. the lungs to the adjacent organs is still lung cancer, and is treated with lung cancer treatment methods.
Metastatic lung cancer survival rate
As the cancer starts spreading, it becomes difficult to control it, and the chances of survival are quite minimal. According to the statistics of 2015, the life expectancy of those who suffer from metastatic lung cancer is only 8 months. Also, the five-year survival rate, i.e. the number of people who survive for five years after being diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer is only 4 percent.
There are certain factors that affect the individual’s chances of survival. They are as follows-
- The type of lung cancer and its location – The type of lung cancer that the individual suffers from has a major role in determining the life expectancy rate. If the lung cancer has spread to only one region or has spread extensively, the metastatic lung cancer survival rate would depend on the extent to which the cancer has spread. The individual’s chances of survival also depends on the genetic characteristics of the cancerous tumor, and if the cancer tumor has ‘targetable mutations’, it might respond favorably to the new targeted therapies for treating lung cancer.
- It has been observed that the chances of survival for women who have lung cancer is higher than that of men, even in the state of metastases.
- The patient’s age also has a major role to play in determining the metastatic lung cancer survival rate. It has been observed that younger patients live longer than older people with metastatic lung cancer.
- Different people respond differently to the various treatment methods used for controlling metastatic lung cancer. The way the individual responds to the treatment and tolerates the side-effects of the same has a major impact on the individual’s life-expectancy level.
- The metastatic lung cancer rate depends on the areas to which the cancer has spread. Lung cancer usually spreads to the brain, the bones, the liver, and the adrenal glands. The chances of survival are quite low. However, with the right form targeted treatment, there are chances of long-term survival.