When most hear the words “lung cancer”, they often think the diagnosis is a death sentence. Not so fast. There are two types of lung cancer, non-small cell carcinoma, and small cell carcinoma, and the difference in the five-year survival rates are dramatically different.

Lung cancer is treatable but the treatment is a long road. If treated unfairly, or misdiagnosed it is important to contact a lung cancer misdiagnosis lawyer today. An experienced cancer misdiagnosis attorney can help build a claim on your behalf.

What is Small Cell Carcinoma?

First, the medicine. Small cell carcinoma is a form of lung cancer that originates in the lung where the physical appearance of the cancer cell is, just like you would think, small. Small cell carcinoma is much less common than non-small carcinoma and accounts for roughly 10-15% of all cases of lung cancer. The five-year survival rate for non-small cell carcinoma is virtually zero–this means that a diagnosis of small cell lung cancer is, in effect, a death sentence. You will die from small cell carcinoma most likely within one year of the diagnosis and often within six months of the diagnosis.

What is Non-Small Cell Carcinoma?

Non-small cell carcinoma is a more common form of lung cancer, accounting for roughly 80-85% of all cases of lung cancer. This form of cancer, just like small cell carcinoma, originates in the lung and spreads from the lung to the mediastinum (space between the lungs) and from there, the cancer can spread into the bloodstream. Non-small carcinoma is generally far more treatable than small cell carcinoma and the five-year survival rate can be excellent when the cancer is discovered in its early stages. If a doctor fails to do that, you should call a lung cancer misdiagnosis lawyer.

Lung Cancer Treatment

The goal of treatment is to diagnose and treat lung cancer before it spreads, or metastasizes, to other organs in the body, such as the brain or liver. Once lung cancer has metastasized to distant organs, it is highly lethal.

The five-year survival rate means the statistical probability that a person will be alive five years after the date of their cancer diagnosis. To determine the five year survival rate, you need to know the kind of lung cancer, non-small cell or small cell, and the stage of the cancer, stage one, two, three or four. When you know the kind of lung cancer and the stage of the cancer, then you can determine the five-year survival rate.

What Are the Survival Odds of Lung Cancer?

If you have been diagnosed with stage one or stage two non-small cell carcinoma of the lung, your five year survival rate is considered very good, i.e., better than 50%. This means that there is a better than 50% chance that you will be alive five years after the diagnosis of lung cancer. If you are alive five years after your cancer diagnosis, you are considered “cured” in almost all cases.

On the other hand, if you are diagnosed with stage four non-small cell carcinoma of the lung, your five year survival rate is 2%, not so great. Thus, it is crucial that you ask your oncologist two questions: #1: What type of lung cancer do I have, non-small cell or small cell? and #2: What is the stage of my cancer at the time of diagnosis? Once you have this information, the rest is easy. You can then ask your oncologist, “What is the five year rate of survival for me?”

Contact a Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney for Help

It is never surprising how few patients have accurate or complete information about their kind of cancer and their five-year survival rate. Perhaps oncologists think it is better to keep patients in the dark about their prognosis. However, patients should be told everything about their condition, unless they don’t want to know. Please contact a lung cancer misdiagnosis lawyer immediately if you have been mistreated or misdiagnosed.

Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer