Lung cancer survival statistics

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 Open a glossary item net survival for patients diagnosed with lung cancer during 2010-2011 in England and Wales.[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.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 2010-2011

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

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits Open a glossary item

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.[1] Out of 20 common cancers in England and Wales, ten-year survival for lung cancer ranks 2nd lowest overall.

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

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.

References

  1. Data were provided by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on request, 2014.
  2. ISD Scotland. Trends in Cancer Survival 1983-2007.
  3. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry. Incidence & Survival 1993-2012.
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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 42% in 15-39 year-olds to 6% in 80-99 year-olds for patients diagnosed with lung cancer in England during 2009-2013.[1] In women, five-year survival ranges from 48% to 7% in the same age groups.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Five-Year Net Survival by Age, England, 2009-2013

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One-year age-standardised Open a glossary itemnet 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 Open a glossary item of 14 percentage points.[1] In women, one-year survival has increased from 15% to 35% over the same time period (a difference of 20 percentage points).

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

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.[1] In women, five-year survival has increased from 4% to 12% over the same time period (a difference of 7 percentage points).

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

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.[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.

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

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

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Survival for lung cancer is strongly related to the stage of the disease at diagnosis. 

One-year net survival for lung cancer is highest for patients diagnosed at stage I, and lowest for those diagnosed at stage IV, 2014 data for England show.[1] 83% of patients diagnosed at stage I survived their disease for at least one year, versus 17% of patients diagnosed at stage IV.[1]

One-year net survival for unknown stage lung cancer is 26%. Lack of staging information may in some cases reflect advanced stage at diagnosis: for example very unwell patients may not undergo staging tests if the invasiveness of the testing outweighs the potential benefit of obtaining stage information.[1]

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), One-Year Age Standardised Net Survival by Stage, Adults (Ages 15-99 Years), England 2014

For patients diagnosed at stage IV, one-year net survival is significantly higher for females than for males, with an absolute survival difference of 5 percentage points.[1]

As expected, five-year survival of people diagnosed with lung cancer during 2003-2006 is lower than one-year survival across known stage groups.[2] 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%).

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

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

References

  1. Office for National Statistics, Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2016.
  2. Data were provided by The National Cancer Registration Service Eastern Office on request. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ncras.nhs.uk/ncrs-east/

About this data

Data is for: England, 2014 (one-year), Former Anglia Cancer Network, 2002-2006 (five-year), ICD-10 C33-C34

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and the survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics.

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Analyses of lung cancer survival rates 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.[1]

An earlier analysis based on all lung cancer patients diagnosed between 1986-90 estimated that 1,300 deaths would have been avoided if every socio-economic group had the same survival rate as that for the most affluent group.[2]

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Cancer Statistics Explained

See information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of our statistics.

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