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Why Is the Fatality Rate for Lung Cancer So High?

It’s estimated that more than half of people diagnosed with lung cancer lose their battle within the first year. This statistic is alarming, especially for RCCA patients and their families who are currently dealing with lung cancer. Despite advancements in science, lung cancer remains one of the most common—and lethal—types of cancer worldwide.

Lung Cancer Survival Rates

For years, lung cancer has been one of the leading killers among cancers in the United States for both men and women. Let’s take a look at some of the data.

  • After breast cancer (266,000 new cases/year), lung cancer (234,000 new cases/year) is the most common type.
  • More than 540,000 Americans living today have been diagnosed with lung cancer at some point.
  • 154,050 Americans are expected to die from lung cancer in 2018.
  • The lung cancer incidence rate has dropped for men, but it has risen for women.
  • African Americans are more likely to develop and die from the disease.

Early Detection Is a Major Issue

One reason why the survival rate for lung cancer is so low is a lack of early detection. Unfortunately, most patients do not experience symptoms of lung cancer at first. They feel healthy and have no need to visit a doctor, even while a tumor is growing in their chest. It’s not until later, when the disease has progressed, that they start coughing and feel sick.

The later someone is diagnosed with any type of cancer, the lower the chances of survival. And since only 16% of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage, one can see why so many people lose their fight. As cancer progresses, it starts to spread to other parts of the body, making it more difficult to treat.

Treatment Difficulties

Treatment depends on the type of lung cancer, the stage that it’s in and the person’s health. The most common options include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and clinical trials.

If the cancer is only in one lung and has not spread anywhere else, surgery may also be an option. But lung transplants are usually not recommended. Once the cancer spreads, a transplant won’t be effective.

Excellent Lung Cancer Care at RCCA

At RCCA, we work tirelessly to make sure every patient receives the care he or she deserves.

we are here for you

For more information or to schedule an appointment,
call 844-346-7222. You can also schedule an appointment by calling the RCCA location nearest you.


Regional Cancer Care Associates is one of fewer than 200 medical practices in the country selected to participate in the Oncology Care Model (OCM); a recent Medicare initiative aimed at improving care coordination and access to and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy treatment.