Cancer Research UK on Google+ Cancer Research UK on Facebook Cancer Research UK on Twitter
 

Lung cancer survival statistics

One-, five- and ten-year survival statistics for lung cancer by age and trends over time are presented here. There are also data by stage at diagnosis and on socio-economic variation.

Find out more about the counting and coding of this data.

 

One-, five- and ten-year survival

30% of men survive lung cancer for at least one year, and this is predicted to fall to 8% surviving for five years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with lung cancer during 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Table 3.1).1 Survival for women is slightly higher, with 35% surviving for one year or more, and 12% predicted to survive for at least five years.

Table 3.1: Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Relative Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England 2005-2009 and 2009

1-Year Survival (%) 5-Year Survival (%) 10-Year Survival (%)
Men Net Survival 30.4 8.4 4.0
95% LCL 30.1 7.5 2.8
95% UCL 30.7 9.3 5.5
Women Net Survival 35.1 11.6 6.5
95% LCL 34.8 10.5 4.9
95% UCL 35.3 12.6 8.4
Adults Net Survival 32.1 9.5 4.9
95% LCL 31.9 8.8 3.9
95% UCL 32.3 10.2 6.1

Download this table XLS (32KB) PPT (138KB) PDF (26KB)

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits
Five- and ten-year survival is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Lung cancer survival gradually continues to fall beyond five years after diagnosis. 4% of men and 7% of women are predicted to survive their disease for ten years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with lung cancer during 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Figure 3.1).1 Out of 20 common cancers in England and Wales, ten-year survival for lung cancer ranks 2nd lowest overall.

Figure 3.1: Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Net Survival up to Ten Years after Diagnosis, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 2010-2011

surv_curve_lung.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (125KB) PDF (72KB)

Survival for lung cancer is reported in Scotland and Northern Ireland,2,3 though it is difficult to make survival comparisons between countries due to different methodologies and criteria for including patients in analyses.

section reviewed 04/12/14
section updated 04/12/14

 

By age

Five-year survival for lung cancer is highest in the youngest men and women and decreases with increasing age. Five-year net survival in men ranges from 38% in 15-39 year-olds to 5% in 80-99 year-olds for patients diagnosed with lung cancer in England during 2007-2011 (Figure 3.2).4 In women, five-year survival ranges from 45% to 5% in the same age groups.

Figure 3.2: Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Five-Year Net Survival by Age, England, 2007-2011

surv_5yr_age_lung.swf

Download this chart XLS (42KB) PPT (123KB) PDF (44KB)

section reviewed 04/12/14
section updated 04/12/14

Trends over time

One-year age-standardised net survival for lung cancer in men has increased from 16% during 1971-1972 to 30% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 14 percentage points (Figure 3.3).1 In women, one-year survival has increased from 15% to 35% over the same time period (a difference of 20 percentage points).

Figure 3.3: Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Age-Standardised One-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_1yr_lung.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (126KB) PDF (53KB)

Unlike the majority of cancers, five- and ten-year survival for lung cancer has not shown much improvement since the early 1970s. Five-year age-standardised net survival for lung cancer in men has increased from 5% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 8% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 4 percentage points (Figure 3.4).1 In women, five-year survival has increased from 4% to 12% over the same time period (a difference of 7 percentage points).

Figure 3.4: Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Age-Standardised Five-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_5yr_lung.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (126KB) PDF (54KB)

Five-year survival for 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Ten-year age-standardised net survival for lung cancer in men has shown no significant increase between 1971-1972 and 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Figure 3.5).1 In women, ten-year survival has increased from 3% to 7% over the same time period (a difference of 4 percentage points). Overall, 5% of people diagnosed with lung cancer today are predicted to survive their disease for at least ten years.

Figure 3.5: Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Age-Standardised Ten-Year Net Survival, (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_10yr_lung.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (126KB) PDF (53KB)

Ten-year survival for 2005-2006 and 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

section reviewed 04/12/14
section updated 04/12/14

 

By stage at diagnosis

The majority (67.6%) of patients diagnosed with lung cancer between 2003-2006 present at stage III or stage IV (Table 3.2), using data for the former Anglia Cancer Network.5 More people are diagnosed at an advanced stage IV (35.8%) than an early stage, with the smallest proportion of known-stage new cases presenting at stage II (7.3%).

Table 3.2: Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Number and Proportion of Cases Diagnosed at Each Stage, Adults Aged 15-99 Years, Former Anglia Cancer Network, 2003-2006

Total Cases Percentage of Cases
Stage I 582 14.5%
Stage II 294 7.3%
Stage III 1275 31.8%
Stage IV 1436 35.8%
Stage Not Known 426 10.6%
All Stages 4013 100.0%

Download this table XLS (30KB) PPT (123KB) PDF (13KB)

Number of new cases by stage included in the survival analysis

One-year survival from lung cancer is strongly related to the stage of the disease at diagnosis (Figure 3.6).5 People presenting at stage I have the highest survival (71%). Survival is much lower for those diagnosed with stage IV disease (14%). Survival for those people with stage not known is similar to those with stage IV disease (17%).

Figure 3.6: Lung Cancer (C33-C34), One-Year Relative Survival by Stage, Adults Aged 15-99 Years, Former Anglia Cancer Network, 2003-2006

surv_1yr_bystage_lung.swf

Download this chart XLS (43KB) PPT (132KB) PDF (31KB)

As expected, five-year survival of people diagnosed with lung cancer during 2003-2006 (Figure 3.7) is lower than one-year survival across known stage groups.5 People presenting at stage I have the highest survival (35%). Survival is lower for those diagnosed with stage III disease (6%). Stage IV survival could not be calculated at five years due to the small number of people surviving more than two years. Survival for those people with stage not known is similar to those with stage III disease (6%).

Figure 3.7: Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Five-Year Relative Survival by Stage, Adults Aged 15-99 Years, Former Anglia Cancer Network, 2003-2006

surv_5yr_bystage_lung.swf

Download this chart XLS (43KB) PPT (133KB) PDF (33KB)

Stage IV survival could not be calculated at five years due to the small number of people surviving more than two years.

section reviewed 04/07/13
section updated 04/07/13

 

By socio-economic variation

Analyses of lung cancer survival by socio-economic deprivation in England and Wales have recorded a small but significant gap of 1.4% between men in the most affluent groups and those in the most deprived groups diagnosed with lung cancer during 1996-99. Although this difference is seemingly small, because of the large numbers of patients involved, this has an important consequence.6

An earlier analysis based on all lung cancer patients diagnosed between 1986-90 estimated that 1,300 deaths would have been avoided if every socioeconomic group had the same survival as that for the most affluent group.7

section reviewed 26/06/12
section updated 26/06/12

No Error

Rate this page:
Submit rating
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 3 votes
Rate this page
Rate this page for no comments box
Please enter feedback to continue submitting
Send feedback
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team

Visit our A-Z topic pages

 

References for lung cancer survival

  1. Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Personal communication, 2014.
  2. ISD Scotland. Trends in Cancer Survival 1983-2007.
  3. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry. Incidence & Survival 1993-2012.
  4. Office for National Statistics. Statistical Bulletin: Cancer survival in England: Patients diagnosed 2007-2011 and followed up to 2012. Newport: ONS; 2013.
  5. The Information Centre for Health and Social Care. National Clinical Audit Support Programme Lung Cancer NLCA Report 2005. Leeds: Information Centre for Health and Social Care; 2006.
  6. Coleman MP, Rachet B, Woods LM, et al. Trends and socioeconomic inequalities in cancer survival in England and Wales up to 2001. Br J Cancer 2004;90(7):1367-73.
  7. Coleman MP, Babb P, Sloggett A, et al. Socioeconomic inequalities in cancer survival in England and Wales. Cancer 2001;91(I Suppl):208-16.
Updated: 4 July 2013