Life Expectancy

does anyone know what the life expectancy of lung cancer survivals is? What are our chances of getting it back or it moving to another location? I know I should not be worrying about this but I really want to know. I have been cancer free since March 21st 2008 and want to stay that way.

Report post

32 replies. Join the discussion

I was operated on 4/07 and had whole right lung removed. I still am terrified about it coming back and it is no picnic living with one lung but, I must say I have been able to throughly enjoy my life since about 6 months after surgery.

The only thing that helps me is to stay in the day and assume i am going to live a long and healthy life. thinking any other way is just self-defeating.

I had no chemo or radiation as they didn't realize i was 3a until they got in but they were able to 'get it all and clear the margins".

The longer you are alive a nd NED the easier it gets to deal with this.

Big Hug and Happy New Year!

Report post

hey Penny,
it really depends on so very, very many factors - but the biggest of which is the date written by your name in the great book of life. there are many studies out there that indicate by the time you're diagnosed, you will probably have had the disease for 7-10 years. what this tells me is that by the time you're diagnosed, you're already a long-term survivor. wild thought, huh???! once it goes into remission, it may or may not come back, depending on its mood.

I am so glad you are NED!!!
happy new year - please relax and revel in your breathing!!!
hugs
Pat

Report post

does anyone know what the life expectancy of lung cancer survivals is?

NOPE! Not a sole! I know people that were given 6 months and are still here 10, 15, 20 years later.

I'm a 13+ year Stage IIIB LC Survivor and who would have thought? (smile) I know many lung cancer survivors that are long term and late stage. It's a crap shoot and that's just how this journey goes.

If your NED (cancer free) then go and enjoy (Congratulations).

If it comes back you'll have to deal with it THEN. Worrying about when or if it will come back doesn't do any of us one bit of good, (don't I know) because no one can tell you/us if or when it will come back or when you/we will die. And if you should walk across the street, watch out for trucks. (SMILE) Tomorrow Never Comes, Yesterday is a Mystery, and Today is a Gift, go and Enjoy it!

Warm & Gentle Hugs,
Connie

Report post

No one knows, Penny - not even the doctors. Don't even ask them how long you will live because they truly cannot give you an accurate answer.

Statistics are outdated and don't mean anything. Alot of factors are involved - type and stage of cancer, how we respond to treatment, genetics, environment, etc. Connie said it best above in her post.

I once had a very negative nurse tell me I was going to die of lung cancer and tried to talk me out of surgery since I have myasthenia gravis which could cause me to be on a ventilator for a couple weeks or, God forbid, cause my death. She said the cancer was going to kill me anyway, why risk the surgery.

After telling her a few 'facts of my own' :), I told her I was risking the surgery and that I might get run over by a Mac truck before cancer killed me.

Enjoy each day to its fullest and try not to worry too much about the future ... I know that's difficult because I've been doing alot that lately.

Hugs,

Bette

Report post

Dear Penny,

Does anyone at all know their life expectancy? Think about it. The average age for a human being may be around 78, but many die young and many live past 100. None of us, with or without lung cancer, knows our life expectancy. So, don't spend your energy on negative thoughts. Be well; enjoy today and tomorrow. Live like you'll be around forever.....

Happy, Healthy New Year to you.

Report post

As hard as it is to live past cancer ,"it would be a waste to be taken now ''is what I tell myself!!! I worry everytime I get a new pain on my good side, but I try to stay positive and enjoy what I have going right now for me. I have been cancer free from Mesothelioma for 16 months!! I have lived past my expectancy so they say but you do have some control over it. You have to take care of your body and want to be here!
The hardest part for me is being around all my friends at a party or a dinner and they all want to blow ciggeratte smoke in my face as they get drunk!! { I haven't even had a drink in almost 2 years from all my medications! Its hard to change my life style but I just live strong and go to the gym about every day and my one lung can out last any 2 lung person who doesn't work out!!! I have a personal trainer who works with me and is very impressed with how far I came along. LiveStrong!! that is what I had tatoo'd on my right arm so every time I get an IV or blood drawn I can remind myself I have to be strong and keep living and not give up!!

Report post

I pray that you stay cancer-free. It is such an individual thing. My dad was 73 yrs of age in 2004 when he was diagnosed with NSCLC. He died 4 months after diagnosis. He had a 10 cm tumor in one lung with a "branch" to the other lung, cell-filled pluera/fluid. I have spoken with many ppl with the same type of diagnosis who have lived, become cancer-free, lived for yrs, months, etc...just so individual. I truely believe state-of-mind makes a great difference in recovery. My dad had CHF, peripheral neuopathy, and Trijiminal Neuralgia..he was "tired". (Can I spell??)

Report post

I think it all depends on you. My brother in law was diagnosed and treated for brain cancer 18 years ago. His tumor was removed surgically and he received radiation through his eye (to get to the right part of the brain). He is still kickin' it! I think they gave him 6 - 8 mos to live and at the time no one had lived past 10 years in that condition. But, he is still here and he is my inspiration.
I was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer last January. I feel good, am on my third chemo and will be undergoing my second gamma knife radiation for brain tumors. I'm not planning on going anywhere.
Hang in there - I don't think anyone knows how long we have, just enjoy the time you have.
Nannette

Report post

OMG - you've been reading the stats! I can tell by the question - look - you - or I could get hit by a train tomorrow - only GOD knows when our time is up - it's our job to live life the best way we can until then!!!!
Karen

Report post

LiveStrong, yes, and LiveHealthy--eat right and exercise and keep yourself in the best physical shape possible. Then you will know that you are giving yourself the best possible chance of staying cancer free.

If you feel good today, you probably aren't going to die today, and probably not for the next few days either. So enjoy today, and the next few days. Live them to the fullest!

Kathy

Report post

I am new to this too (just diagnosed stage IIIa adenocarcinoma about 6 weeks ago) and I have to admit that I have been obsessesively reading all the life expectancy stats I can find--something my oncologist specifically warned me not to do. Yet can't help myself. And reading the grim numbers is doing nothing to help with the significant depression and anxiety that I am dealing with around my diagnosis.

However the replies here in this thread help me realize how easy it can be to lose perspective when looking at things such as life expectancy stats while in a very emotional state. They are just numbers while the members here represent people living their lives. And for me, I really need to put down the stats and realize there is another side to life expectancy--one that comes directly from those living with cancer. And that is where I need to focus, not on a bunch of numbers in a medical journal. I don't have anything to offer to this discussion Penny, I just wanted to say thank you for asking the question (it was one I had but was afraid to ask). I wish you continued good health. And a thank you to those who replied to the thread as well. This thread has been very helpful in helping me gain some much needed perspective back.
Karry

Report post

Here is my story if you want to go read it.

MY STORY @ http://www.lungevity.org/l_community/viewtopic.php?t=13224

And for all you wonderful new members that had to join us, STOP READING THOSE STUPID STATS! OY VEY!!!! I've been cancer free for 13+ years and I have told people over and over and over and over and over for YEARS to NOT READ THE STATS! They HONESTLY ARE OUTDATED!! Plus they don't tell you the age group of the data, or the health issues, or the treatments they did, etc., etc,

There are two sides to stats, you live or you die. How about focus on the LIVING PART? (smile)

Your a lung cancer SURVIVOR. This IS BEATABLE! We DO LIVE with LC and we DO SURVIVE. YOU can TOO!

I wasted 2 years of my life at the beginning of this journey planning and worrying about dying. CUT IT OUT! Today is Another Great Day To be Alive! Go ENJOY IT! Live, Love and Be Happy!!

Hugs,
Connie

Report post

This is still all very new to me. I do alot more reading than posting. Thank you, ALL of you for being there and taking the time to exchange information, comfort, and encourage!

Report post

I have just been diagnosed so I don't have too much experience to add. I have found help in the book-Anti Cancer A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber.
He talks about statistics but encourages us to put ourselves in the tail of the curve....with those who survive.

The book is full of ideas of ways we can take some control of our cancer through diet, exercise, positive thinking, etc.

Report post

Thanks for this post. I think many of us with this disease think about the stats all the time. We are warned by our doctors, friends, family members, and other individuals to ignore the stats, etc, but that is a bit difficult.

I started reading several of the journal papers dealing with cancer, treatments, and prognoses, and ended up becoming concerned about the statistical analyses and associated methods. I noted that several of these peer-reviewed papers had very poor statistics and the researchers used incorrect methods for analyses. This continued reference to a normal distributation (bell shaped curve) appeared to be incorrect for many of the analyses; in fact, truncated normal, half-normal (well all get the idea), and other distributions would have been more appropriate.

My bottom line: (1) the heck with the statistics; (2) as I was informed by one on this list--I did not come with a expiration date on my backside (or elsewhere); (3) I will do the best I can each day; and (4) I will, however, do a much better job of living healthy. Besides, my family keeps me so angry sometimes that I just want to stay and get even with them--make them do the dishes, mow the lawn, write the bills, do the grocery shopping, do the cooking, do the laundry, earn a paycheck, clean the house, and fix every darn thing that breaks or does not correctly work in the house or car.

Report post

Wow you work out??? what are you able to do. I thought those days were over and a slow walk was about all I'd be able to do.

Report post

I had chemo and radiation before surgery. My oncologist really wanted me to have the surgery. When the biopsy came back there was no viable cancer left. I try to live in the present and some days I do well and then the fear comes again. It's not that I'm afaid of dying, it's going though it all again, and what it did to my family.

Report post

That is a wild thought

Report post

I am really glad a long term survivor is on this site. Do you think about it coming back a lot?

Report post

I am really glad a long term survivor is on this site. Do you think about it coming back a lot?

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Photo of Dave Grant

The Lung Cancer Survivors Support Community has provided support for patients, caregivers, families and friends since 2006. We welcome over 600 new members every month in the fight against lung cancer.

ALK mutations and lung cancer

Join the discussion about ALK mutations and lung cancer

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Community leaders