Is lung cancer curable?

June 18, 2022

Is lung cancer curable?
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Lung Cancer

Like other cancers, lung cancer arises when normal cell division and growth processes are interrupted, resulting in aberrant, uncontrollable growth. The cells combine to form a bulk or tumour. Any abnormal development in the body that immediately invades surrounding tissues and organs, spreads to other regions of the body or has the potential to re-grow after removal is referred to as “malignant” or cancerous.

Who is susceptible to lung cancer?

Lung cancer develops slowly over time. The most prevalent risk factor for getting lung cancer is cigarette smoking. Many people exposed to cigarette smoke or some of its constituents will develop irreversible pathological lung changes.

These alterations can result in the development of a malignant tumour within the lung.

  • People who have never smoked account for 25% of all lung cancer cases detected worldwide. In some circumstances, the fundamental aetiology is unknown.
  • Two out of every three lung cancer patients are over 65.
  • The typical diagnosis age is 70 years.

How prevalent is lung cancer?

Lung cancer is the country’s second most frequent cancer but is also the deadliest, accounting for the greatest number of deaths among all malignancies.

What are the different stages of lung cancer?

Staging lets the doctor comprehend entirely the degree of the patient’s cancer to make treatment decisions and forecast expected results. Doctors use particular words to describe cancer stages, but a simple method to convey staging is as follows:

  • Localised: The malignancy is limited to the lung.
  • Regional: the spread of cancer to lymph nodes (or glands) in the chest.
  • Distant: Cancer has spread to other places of the body (or metastasised).

Types of lung cancer

The majority of lung malignancies begin in the bronchial lining. However, lung cancer can also form in glands beneath the bronchial lining, most commonly in the lungs’ periphery.

All these lung cancers are one of the two major kinds of lung cancer, small cell or non-small cell lung cancer, each of which grows and spreads in different ways.

Non-small cell lung cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer is far more common and develops and spreads far more slowly than small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is of three types, differentiated based on their development:

  • Adenocarcinoma: frequently begins in the lung’s periphery and can vary in size and growth rate. This is the most frequent kind of lung cancer in both smokers and nonsmokers.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma: is most commonly found in one of the major breathing tubes near the middle of the chest. These lung tumours can range in size from very small to extremely large.
  • Large cell carcinoma: frequently begins in the lung’s periphery, develops rapidly and is usually quite widespread when identified.

Small cell lung cancer

Small cell lung cancer, which accounts for around 15% of all lung malignancies, is less prevalent than non-small cell lung cancer. However, this type of lung cancer proliferates and is likely to be advanced by the time it is diagnosed and spreads swiftly to other body regions.

Rare cancers of the chest

Several forms of uncommon tumours can occur in the chest, and they can arise from the lung or not. Carcinoid tumours (frequently found in major airways) and malignant mesothelioma, which arises from the pleura, or lining of the lung, are two less common forms.


Mesothelioma is a type of cancer affecting the mesothelium, the protective membrane that protects most of the body’s internal organs. This rare cancer affects only approximately 3,000 people each year, primarily in the mesothelium enclosing the lungs (pleura), although it can also occur in the pericardium, which protects the heart.

Symptoms of lung cancer

The symptoms of lung cancer are not very prevalent until the disease advances. Nevertheless, most the people experience early symptoms, which include:

  • Unimproved coughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Weakness
  • Wheezing
  • Infections that return or will not clear
  • Chest pain that gets worse with cough or laugh

Coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, exhaustion, and/or unintended weight loss are all indicators of advanced lung cancer. Signs and symptoms of cancer spreading to other areas include bone pain, headache, muscular weakness, and/or eyelid drooping.


Concern that a patient has lung cancer usually begins with an abnormal finding on a chest imaging study (chest X-ray or CT scan) or when the disease is advanced enough to cause symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, exhaustion, and/or weight loss.

A biopsy, or removing cells or tissues from the suspicious lump, is required for diagnosis. Biopsies can be taken using a camera feed through the breathing tubes (bronchoscopy) or with a needle introduced through the skin into the lung tumour. If these procedures fail, surgery may be required for an accurate diagnosis. The biopsy is crucial in evaluating whether or not it is cancer and the form of lung cancer it is.

Lung cancer treatment

The most important criteria influencing survival rates are cell type and stage at the time of diagnosis. Those diagnosed at an early stage may be cured. Unfortunately, most persons are detected after the disease has moved outside the chest (advanced or distant) or involved the chest nodes (regional).

You and your doctor must discuss the goals of lung cancer treatment. Some cancer treatments may be used to regulate the disease. Others are used to improve one’s quality of life and/or to alleviate symptoms. These treatments can be used individually or in combination.


For treating early-stage lung cancer, surgery remains the “gold standard.” Removing the tumour and surrounding lung tissue for patients with limited illness provides the highest chance of cure. Thoracic surgeons who specialise in treating lung cancer and other chest malignancies should perform the surgery. Your surgeon will assess if a tumour can be removed (removable). However, not all tumours are resectable because of their proximity to, or invasion of, essential structures.

Surgery may not be the best option for patients with many medical conditions or poor lung function. Our interdisciplinary team carefully determines this, including pulmonologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists.


There is no concrete way to prevent lung cancer, although there are a few things that can get you to lower the risk of lung cancer:

  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce your exposure to cancer-causing substances such as:
    • Arsenic
    • Asbestos
    • Beryllium
    • Cadmium
    • Substances containing nickel or chromium
    • Coal products
    • Air pollution
    • Radon

People also ask

1. How long can you live with lung cancer?

Over the last decade, lung cancer has grown from a median overall survival of 11 months to a 5-year survival rate of 17.8 per cent. This advantage is primarily due to the availability of targeted therapy medications and the proper patient selection – in other words, precision oncology and customised medicine. To a considerable extent, this is only achievable because of molecular oncology.

2. Can lung cancer be cured permanently?

Remission success is dependent on how early the condition is detected and what other health issues you may be dealing with. And there is always a possibility (often a very small one) that lung cancer will resurface even after years or decades of remission.

3. What stage of lung cancer is curable?

With prompt treatment, stage I lung cancer is highly curable. Typically, your doctor will recommend surgery to remove cancer. However, if traces of cancer remain or are anticipated to continue, you may also require chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.



Medical Oncology

Medical Oncology

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