Cancer Prognosis: What Is Cancers Life Expectancy?
The average life expectancy of a person diagnosed with cancer is about 5 years. There are many different factors which affect the life expectancy of a person. For example, smoking increases the risk of dying from lung cancer by 50%. Other lifestyle habits such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, and alcohol abuse increase the risk of dying from other cancers. Some diseases such as leukemia have no known cure. Other conditions such as brain tumors are also incurable. In both these cases life expectancy is reduced to months or even weeks. Fortunately, the survival rate for many cancers has greatly improved in the past few decades.
Also, the average life expectancy of a person diagnosed with cancer can range from a few months to more than 10 years. The average life expectancy can be from 2 to 10 years depending on the type of cancer. The average life expectancy for some types of cancer is less than one year. The numbers are even lower in developing countries.
The five-year survival rate for cervical cancer, for example, is 60% to 90%. Some types of cancer have a low survival rate such as liver cancer with a survival rate of 4%.
It should be noted that these numbers are generalities and do not apply to all patients. In some cases, people diagnosed with cancer survive much longer than the average life expectancy for their type and stage of cancer.
Types of Cancer with the Lowest Life Expectancy
Ovarian cancer has one of the lowest survival rates among all women. More than 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. Unfortunately, only 1 in 3 patients survive the disease. In most cases, the cancer has spread by the time it is diagnosed.
It is also one of the deadliest forms of cancer. One reason for the low survival rate of ovarian cancer is that it often has few early symptoms. It is difficult to detect at early stages. The five-year survival rate for this type of cancer is only 23%.
Kidney cancer: The five-year survival rate for this type of cancer is only 26%. Most of the patients diagnosed with this illness are older than 65.
Bladder cancer: This cancer has a low survival rate that is similar to the survival rate of kidney cancer. The five-year survival rate is 27%.
Types of Cancer with Average Life Expectancy
Around 60,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year. Unfortunately, only 8% of patients survive this type of terminal illness. The average life expectancy of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is about 7 months.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is a cancer that develops from the lymphocytes, has a five-year survival rate of 56%.
Types of Cancer with Highest Life Expectancy
Even though the average life expectancy for people diagnosed with colon cancer is about 7 to 9 months, some patients survive much longer. In fact, patients that are diagnosed at an early stage and treated have a much greater chance of surviving much longer.
Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Fortunately, patients with early stage lung cancer have a 90% survival rate.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that develops from the membrane that covers the lungs. The average life expectancy of someone diagnosed with this disease is about 1 to 3 years.
Factors that Determine the Life Expectancy of a Cancer Patient
There are several factors that can influence how long a person survives after being diagnosed with cancer. These factors include:
Tumor size: Tumors that have a high growth rate have a higher chance of spreading.
If the cancer has spread to other parts of your body.
Staging: The stage of the cancer usually affects how long a patient can survive.
Treatments: Different treatments have different success rates. Treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy can increase the life expectancy of a patient.
Your health: Patients in good general health before being diagnosed with cancer have a better chance of surviving.
Your age: People younger than 65 have a better chance of surviving most types of cancer.
Your genetic history: Patients with a family or personal history of certain types of cancer have a greater chance of developing it.
The Bottom Line
Most types of cancer are highly fatal, especially when detected in later stages. The average life expectancy for patients diagnosed with many types of cancer is between 4 to 8 months. Even patients that are diagnosed at an early stage and treated have a low chance of surviving, especially if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. The chances of surviving a type of cancer also depends on the type and stage of the disease.
If you are diagnosed with cancer, it is important to get a second and even a third opinion from other doctors. This will give you a better idea on your chances of survival if you choose to undergo treatment. It is also a good idea to get a second opinion from an integrative medicine doctor. This is because alternative and complementary medicine have higher success rates and enhance the survival rate of cancer patients.
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