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A 51-year-old female asked:

My mother has been diagnosed with stage 3a limited small cell lung cancer. she is starting her chemotherapy next week along with radiation after her 2nd round of chemo. she's 71 and has copd also. what do you think her 2-5 yr survival rate is....?

2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Rada Ivanov
Pulmonary Critical Care 33 years experience
20-40% at 2 years: There is pretty extensive data on patients with small cell lung cancer (sclc). The vast majority will respond to treatment, and also will recur. Data from the literature quote 20-40 % of limited sclc survive to 2 years and 10-13% to 5 years. Good luck, i hope she is one of those! i assume you are referring to limited stage sclc; stage 3a is used in non-sclc and the numbers are different.
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Dr. Addagada Rao
General Surgery 58 years experience
Guarded: Long term prognosis , unfortunately, not good over all 5 % survival, but the response is getting better each day with advances in chemotherapy and follow the advice of oncologist.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Dec 31, 2022


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