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Life expectancy for untreated 3B lung cancer?

Lung Cancer discussions, another of the most common forms of cancer

Life expectancy for untreated 3B lung cancer?

Postby burhtun » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:32 pm

My grandmother was just diagnosed with stage 3b lung cancer (non-small cell) and has decided that she only wants radiation on one lymph node (to ease the pain) but she does not want to go through chemotherapy as it will only buy her one year and she'll always almost be sick.

IWhat is the ballpark estimate of the life expectancy of a cancer patient who opts out of treatment?

Additional info: cancer is in her upper left and upper right lungs and lymph nodes.
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Life expectancy for untreated 3B lung cancer?

Postby danakas62 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:35 pm

The median life expectancy for stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer (the time at which 50% of patients are alive and 50% have passed away) is around 15 months for stage 3A and 13 months for stage 3B. The 5-year survival rate -- that is the percent of people who are expected to be alive 5 years after a diagnosis of stage 3 lung cancer -- is sadly only 23% for stage 3A and around 10% for stage 3B.

One last thing that it is very important to keep in mind. While stage 3 lung cancer may or may not be curable, it is treatable. These treatments may not only improve survival, but help with the symptoms of lung cancer as well. Several treatments are currently being evaluated in clinical trials, and offer hope that stage 3 lung cancer life expectancy will improve in the future. The National Cancer Institute states that all individuals with stage 3 lung cancer should be considered candidates for clinical trials.
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Life expectancy for untreated 3B lung cancer?

Postby doctor » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:42 pm

She is already stage 3b and the median survival time is about 13 months although some patients have survived for longer. It is inoperable and radiation therapy will help with the pain. Chemotherapy will not cure her and, personally, I think grandma made a wise decision not to take the treatments. She will have a much better quality of life if she sticks with radiation therapy only and may even live longer if she is reasonably healthy now. I'm sorry this has happened to her. God bless.
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