What are the survival rates for non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

Lung cancer is highly lethal. In Europe, the 5-year overall survival rate is 12.3%. The highest recorded 5-year patient survival rates are observed in the United States. US data collected from 2010–2016 indicate that the 5-year relative survival rate for lung cancer was 20.5%, reflecting a steady but slow improvement from 12.5% in 1975. [22, 25] However, the 5-year relative survival rate varies markedly, depending on how advanced the disease is at diagnosis, as follows [25] :

  • 59.0% for localized disease
  • 31.7% for regional disease
  • 5.8% for distant-metastasis disease

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