How Long Will You Live with Stage 3 Lung Cancer?

Reviewed on 7/28/2021

Most lung cancers are diagnosed at stage 3. Stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer 5-year survival rates (how many people will be alive 5 years after diagnosis) are 35%, while Stage 3 small cell lung cancer (which is more aggressive) 5-year survival rates are 16%.
Most lung cancers are diagnosed at stage 3. Stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer 5-year survival rates (how many people will be alive 5 years after diagnosis) are 35%, while Stage 3 small cell lung cancer (which is more aggressive) 5-year survival rates are 16%.

Lung cancer is the result of lung cells growing abnormally and out of control. 

Most lung cancers are diagnosed at stage 3. Stage 3 lung cancer encompasses many different types of tumors, some of which may have spread to nearby tissues, organs, or lymph nodes. Life expectancy for lung cancer is often expressed in 5-year survival rates, that is, how many people will be alive 5 years after diagnosis. 

About 90% of patients with lung cancer have non-small cell lung cancer. Stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer 5-year survival rates are 35%.

Small cell lung cancer is rarer and more aggressive. Stage 3 small cell lung cancer 5-year survival rates are 16%.

Factors that may improve a patient’s prognosis include: 

  • How advanced the cancer is 
  • How much the cancer has spread outside the lungs
  • Maintaining weight (patients who lose more than 5% of their total body weight before treatment usually have a poorer outlook)
  • If a patient is still able to carry out their daily routine
  • Being female
  • No other lung illness, such as pneumonia or collapsed lung

What Are Symptoms of Stage 3 Lung Cancer?

Early on, people with lung cancer may not have symptoms. When symptoms occur, they may include:

  • Persistent or worsening cough
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum
  • Chest pain that may be worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breathing problems
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or recur

Symptoms of stage 3 lung cancer that has spread to nearby tissues, organs, or lymph nodes may include the above and:

  • Loss of breath
  • Bone pain
  • Chest discomfort
  • Excessive headaches

What Is the Treatment for Stage 3 Lung Cancer?

Stage 3 lung cancer may still be treatable, depending on the patient’s outlook and overall health.

Treatment for stage 3 lung cancer may include:

  • Surgery
    • Lobectomy or sleeve resection or removal of the entire lung (pneumonectomy) (Stage 2 and later stages)
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
  • Laser therapy
  • Adjuvant chemotherapy 
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) 
  • Lymph node removal
  • Chemotherapy 
  • Immunotherapy 
  • Participation in clinical trials

SLIDESHOW

Lung Cancer: Early Signs, Symptoms, Stages See Slideshow

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Reviewed on 7/28/2021
References
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer.html

https://www.wjgnet.com/1949-8470/full/v9/i6/269.htm

https://www.jcancer.org/v10p3021.htm

https://www.esmoopen.com/article/S2059-7029(20)32325-5/fulltext

http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1806-37132018000500436&tlng=en

https://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/24/7/1079

https://www.lungcancercenter.com/treatment/prognosis/