How Long Do You Live With Stage 4 Lung Cancer?

When you’re first diagnosed, you’ll naturally be looking at the lung cancer survival rate statistics which are undeniably daunting and bleak. Just 19% of those diagnosed at stage 4 survive more than 12 months.1 But now more than ever, those living with lung cancer are living better, longer lives thanks to the power of research and advancements in treatment.

It’s true that life expectancy statistics don’t paint a pretty picture, and it’s so normal to feel anxious, worried, concerned, and fearful about the future. But advances in science and research mean we’re seeing new and emerging treatments, together with greater research, and those living with lung cancer can participate in an increasing number of clinical trials.

  1. Cancer Australia. Relative survival by stage at diagnosis (lung cancer). Available at: https://ncci.canceraustralia.gov.au/outcomes/relative-survival-rate/relative-survival-stage-diagnosis-lung-cancer. Accessed April 2020.

How long do you live with stage four lung cancer? When people ask that question, I think, I remember the time when I first saw the statistics on Google about stage four lung cancer and how scared I felt when I looked at the numbers. Over the years I’ve learned that it’s about how you interpret statistics rather than the numbers itself.

Numbers may be low, but they may also represent what was available at the time in terms of treatment, and because statistics represent numbers from years ago, and knowing now that there are so many new advancing research, advancing therapies that are improving the outcomes of stage four lung cancer, I know that those statistics are changing and it’s so important to keep that in mind when you look at the numbers.

I’ve lived now with stage four lung cancer for more than five years, and over the years I’ve seen so many stories, so many patients experiences that defy statistics, so remember that, and if you need help, if you want support, please reach out to your medical team and to Lung Foundation Australia. There are more details below. Lung Cancer Search and Rescue. Hope in every breath.

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Lung Foundation Australia is here to help you lead the best life you can by connecting you and your loved ones to support and care, linking you to life-saving clinical trials and supporting active participation in lung health research. Connect with us today to find out more or to access support.

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