Small cell lung cancer is a very aggressive, deadly type of cancer. It is rarely diagnosed until it is in the late stages, and even then it can be very difficult to find. In many cases, this disease could have already spread to other parts of the body, including the brain, before it is diagnosed. Therefore, the small cell lung cancer survival rate is really low. The exact prognosis that you get depends on the type of cancer that you have, the stage it is in, your overall state of health, age, sex, and even the diagnosis and how soon it is made.
There are complications that can affect your prognosis with SCLC, as well. You really have to discuss your situation with your doctor to make sure that you are getting the best information and the highest odds of survival at any time when it comes to treating small cell lung cancer. Survival rate information is very general and constantly changing, but is also very startling to most people.
Small Cell Lung Cancer- Survival by Numbers
If you break it down into statistics, the survival rate for small cell lung cancer is about 6% at the five year mark. That means that only 6% of the people diagnosed with this condition will be alive 5 years after being diagnosed. Treatment can generally prolong the lifespan of patients for 6-12 months even after the disease has spread throughout the body, but this is about all that people can expect. There are cases where this condition can be treated to provide a longer life, but it is very rare. Cancer spreads quickly with this disease and treatment needs to be just as aggressive to keep up.
Considering that the overall 5 year survival rate for lung cancers of all kinds is about 16%, this is one of the deadliest cancers that you can get. If you are stricken with SCLC, you have even lower odds of survival in most cases. However, you have to look at things like your specific medical state, side effects, your age and sex, and even the specific type of small cell lung cancer that you are afflicted with.
Small Cell Lung Cancer Survival Rate- Improving the Odds
There are some ways that you can improve your chances of survival with small cell lung cancer. Of course, these ideas aren’t going to work for everyone and they don’t always provide the desired outcome. Since this is a smoker’s cancer, quitting smoking can always help stop the progression of the disease and give people a better chance at life. Aggressive treatment, early detection, and a knowledgeable doctor will also help increase your odds of survival. This is a very deadly form of lung cancer, however, so patients shouldn’t get their hopes up until they talk to their doctor and get a realistic idea of what to expect.
The bottom line is that survival over a long term period is not generally even a possibility with small cell lung cancer. However, if you get an early diagnosis or work with your doctor to create an aggressive treatment plan, you can have much better odds. Every single case is different and it will be completely up to you to make sure that you do what you can to improve your own odds of success with this disease. In many cases, people seek alternative treatments and explore other paths beyond conventional medicine with small cell lung cancer simply because the survival rate is so low. Whatever you decide, know that you need to talk to your doctor about your situation to get a better idea of exactly what you can expect in terms of a small cell lung cancer survival rate.