Lung Cancer

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Winning the Battle Against Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is responsible for one-third of all cancer deaths in the United States. A stealthy disease, lung cancer takes years to develop and is often not discovered until it has spread throughout the body. 

Statistics Are Abstract; Lives Aren’t

Janet Burts, Lung Cancer Survivor Janet Burts was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008. Her first treatment at SCCA was in a clinical trial designed to shrink her tumor, which helped to make her subsequent surgery a success. Read more about Janet.

If you do have lung cancer, where you choose to go for initial treatment has a significant impact on your likelihood of survival. The Lung Cancer Program at SCCA is the largest, most experienced program of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to innovations in early detection, our physician/researchers focus on the full spectrum of lung cancer treatment, from targeted chemotherapies to minimally invasive surgical techniques. More clinical studies on lung cancer are conducted at SCCA than anywhere else in the region. 

Lung Cancer Survival Rates

Below are the five-year survival rates for lung cancer patients treated by SCCA compared to patients who were treated for lung cancer elsewhere. This information was collected by the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) for patients who were diagnosed and treated between 2003 and 2005 and then followed for five years. We're only showing survival rates for patients who were diagnosed with stage I, stage II, stage III, and stage IV lung cancer. There were not enough patients who were first diagnosed and treated at SCCA with stage 0 lung cancer to provide meaningful results.

Stage I Lung Cancer

  • SCCA patients are represented by the green line. Their five-year survival rate was 61 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA. Note that only patients who received all of their care from SCCA are included.
  • Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by the yellow line. Their five-year survival rate was 44 percent.

Stage II Lung Cancer

  • SCCA patients are represented by the green line. Their five-year survival rate was 51 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA. Note that only patients who received all of their care from SCCA are included.
  • Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by the yellow line. Their five-year survival rate was 26 percent.

Stage III Lung Cancer

  • SCCA patients are represented by the green line. Their five-year survival rate was 15 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA. Note that only patients who received all of their care from SCCA are included.
  • Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by the yellow line. Their five-year survival rate was 11 percent.
  • Note: While the SCCA survival rates appear to be better for stage III lung cancer, the data could not be statistically validated.

Stage IV Lung Cancer

  • SCCA patients are represented by the green line. Their five-year survival rate was 2 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA. Note that only patients who received all of their care from SCCA are included.
  • Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by the yellow line. Their five-year survival rate was 2 percent.

The NCDB tracks the outcomes of 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer in the United States from more than 1,500 commission-accredited cancer programs. It has been collecting data from hospital cancer registries since 1989 and now has almost 29 million records. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Data Collection Methodology