According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), lung cancer survival rates can depend on many factors, including the type of cancer and stage of the disease. How long you can live after being diagnosed with lung cancer, therefore, varies greatly from person to person. Different types of lung cancer can have very different survival rates.
Types of Lung Cancer
The following are the two main types of lung cancer:
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common form of lung cancer and accounts for more than 80% of cases, according to the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The major risk factors for developing this type of lung cancer are smoking, asbestos exposure, radon exposure, and genetics.
Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Small cell lung cancer is less common, but it is typically more fast-growing and aggressive than non-small cell lung cancer. The major risk factors for this type of cancer mirror those of non-small cell lung cancer.
Life Expectancy with Lung Cancer
How long you can live after being diagnosed with lung cancer depends on your diagnosis. Life expectancy can vary considerably according to the type of cancer in question and stage of the disease.
Life Expectancy with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Life expectancy rates with this type of lung cancer depend largely on how far the cancer has spread at the time a doctor diagnoses the disease. The American Cancer Society has provided data on the survival rate of patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
The five-year survival rate with non-small cell lung cancer, if the cancer remains localized, is 61%. Localized means that the cancer has not spread outside of the lung. If the cancer has spread regionally, for example, to close-by lymph nodes or structures near the lung, five-year survival rates are 35%.
If non-small-cell lung cancer has already spread to distant parts within the body such as the other lung, brain, liver, or bones, five-year survival rates can be as low as 6%.
Life Expectancy with Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Small-cell lung cancer survival rates reflect the fast-growing and aggressive nature of this disease. According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate, even if the cancer has not spread, is only 27%. The survival rate drops down to 16% if the cancer has spread regionally and to only 3% if it has spread to other organs.
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Asbestos exposure can cause lung cancer. According to a study in Molecular and Clinical Oncology, the link between lung cancer and asbestos exposure is well established. In fact, asbestos can potentially cause several cancers, such as mesothelioma, cancer of the larynx, and ovarian cancer, among others.
Cancer patients may not realize that their exposure to asbestos, which may have happened decades ago, could be responsible for the cancer they are suffering from now. However, asbestos has a relatively long latency period, meaning that cancer from asbestos can take decades to appear after exposure.
Other Asbestos-Related Illnesses
Asbestos exposure can potentially cause many illnesses later in life. Some of the medical conditions that doctors can trace back to asbestos exposure include:
- Pleural plaques
- Pleural thickening
- Collapsed lung
If you have worked with asbestos or come into contact with the substance in another way and developed a serious illness such as lung cancer, you could potentially hold an employer or other responsible party to account for your injuries and financial losses.
You Could Have Legal Recourse
Lung cancer is a devastating disease, and patients may face a long and arduous road to recovery. Moreover, medical treatments and potential loss of income can cause hardship for those suffering from the disease as well as their families.
Unfortunately, in many cases, it can be difficult to identify where and when an individual came into contact with asbestos. In previous years and decades, asbestos was widely used in many industries from the 1920s through to the 1970s and 1980s. In fact, even today, asbestos can still appear in small quantities in certain consumer products such as make-up and baby powder.
Most of those who develop an asbestos-related disease may have worked with asbestos years or decades ago as plumbers, construction workers, shipyard workers, manufacturing workers, and similar jobs.
If you are suffering from lung cancer and worked with asbestos years ago, you should consult with a lawyer to find out if you could recover compensation for damages such as medical bills, income loss, and pain and suffering, among others.
We understand that it can be intimidating to think of filing a lawsuit while at the same time receiving treatments or recovering from a devastating illness. However, help is available, and you do not have to go through this on your own.
Your health and well-being are important to us, and we can do all the work and research needed to file legal action. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free evaluation of your case at (800) 217-6099.