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Can Lung Cancer Be Treated Successfully?

Lung cancer is the second-most common and most aggressive type of cancer in the world and accounts for the maximum number of cancer-related deaths. Looking at the statistics, a lung cancer diagnosis doesn’t seem very hopeful in most cases.

The survival rate following a lung cancer diagnosis heavily relies on the stage of diagnosis. Dr. Arvind Kumar, a leading chest surgeon with 40+ years of experience, exclaims that an early diagnosis of lung cancer makes all the difference for the patient.

According to reports, an early diagnosis of lung cancer with a tailored treatment plan has a cure rate between 80-90%. So, to answer “can lung cancer be cured?”, the short answer is yes. However, there are several factors at play.

This article will explore more about the treatment options for lung cancer and the success rate associated with it.

Does Early Diagnosis of Lung Cancer make a Difference?

An early diagnosis of lung cancer makes a huge difference, not just in the treatment but also in the recovery of the patient following the brutal diagnosis.

When discussing a “cure” for lung cancer, the success of a treatment plan depends on whether or not the patient is in remission. Since there is always a chance for cancer to recur in the patient, doctors monitor the patient very closely after the initial round of treatment.

Getting an early diagnosis depends on whether or not the patient is prioritizing the symptoms. Even the smallest symptom, like a recurring cough, can be a red flag in certain patients. Getting an annual health screening is crucial if you have a familial history of lung cancer.

Even if nothing comes up, a thorough check-up can put one’s mind at ease or catch the disease at an early stage before things get out of hand.

Also read : Screenings and Second Opinions for a Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Is there a Permanent Cure for Lung Cancer?

Many people, after their diagnosis, have one question swirling in their mind, “Is there a cure for lung cancer?”

Does being “lung cancer free” mean you are 100% cured?

Unfortunately, Lung Cancer tumors mimic the features of breast cancer and colon cancer, wherein the chances of a long-term recurrence of the cancer are very common.

Hence, you won’t witness your doctor saying that you are “cured” of lung cancer following the treatment. Instead, the patients are said to be in remission when they are technically “cancer-free.”

Studies indicate that the recurrence of lung cancer in patients who beat it the first time is quite high in the 15-years period since the first round of treatment. The recurrence degree is often higher in patients initially diagnosed with adenocarcinoma than in squamous cell lung cancer.

There are not many clear studies or research that clarify what happens during the resurgence or recurrence of lung cancer in patients who are already in remission. However, studies indicate that recurring lung cancer in patients often manifests with worse symptoms.

What are the Treatment Options for Lung Cancer Depending on the Stage of Lung Cancer?

Treatment options for non-small cell lung cancer heavily rely on the stage or the spread of the cancer. If you are sitting there wondering, “Is stage 4 lung cancer curable?”, the answer is that it depends.

If cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or is inoperable, aggressive forms of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or immunotherapy might help the patients recover from the condition.

However, the degree of treatment for lung cancer will change depending on which stage the patient is diagnosed with.

For better understanding, let us sort out all the potential treatment options in detail:

Occult Lung Cancer

What is it?

This type of lung cancer signifies malignancy in the sputum cytology or the test results. However, there is no presence of tumors in the patient’s body when imaging tests are performed.

How is it treated?

The doctors will prescribe frequent imaging tests and bronchoscopy if diagnosed with occult lung cancer. Once the tumors are located in the body, the next line of treatment is suggested. Since its an earlier stage of lung cancer, surgical interventions are quite common.

Stage 0 NSCLC

What is it?

Stage 0 NSCLC is the beginning or early stage of lung cancer, wherein the tumor growth and cancer cells are often limited to the lining of the airways and haven’t invaded the deeper tissues in the lungs.

How is it treated?

Depending on the margin of the spread of the cancerous cells, surgery is the most effective mode of treatment for this particular stage. Segmentectomy or wedge resection is the most common surgical intervention.


What is it?

Stage I NSCLC is a localized and early stage of lung cancer, where cancer has only spread in the lungs. However, the good news is that it hasn’t metastasized to other organs or parts of the body outside the lungs.

How is it treated?

Like Stage 0, even Stage 1 lung cancer is treated via surgeries like segmentectomy or wedge resection. A lobectomy is also a treatment option on the table. However, the treatment relies on how far the cancer cells have spread in the lungs.


What is it?

Stage II is where things start getting progressively worse. Although the cancer cells haven’t migrated outside the lungs, it has likely spread to the lymph nodes in the lungs, instigating a further and rapid spread in the lungs, with more tumor outgrowth in the lungs.

How is it treated?

Treatment options for this stage include surgical interventions like lobectomy or sleeve resection. If the tumors have spread throughout the lungs and in a way where surgery isn’t an option, a whole lung removal is performed. Also, since this stage involves the spread of the cancer cells to the lymph nodes, the affected nodes are removed as well to prevent further spread or metastasis of cancer.


What is it?

Stage IIIA and IIIB is a more aggressive forms of lung cancer compared to Stage II. It involves more than one tumor in the individual lobes in the lungs. It also involves the lymph nodes and the adjoining areas in the lungs.

How is it treated?

Treatment options can include various options – surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Patients diagnosed with Stage III lung cancer must work with multiple doctors, including an oncologist, radiation oncologist, and thoracic surgeon.

At Medanta, Dr. Arvind Kumar leads a team of lung cancer doctors specializing in different fields of medicine. The treatment option in such advanced cases is done via a medical board to ensure that the patient gets the best treatment to ensure full recovery and remission.


What is it?

Stage IV of lung cancer is potentially the worst situation. It accounts for the situation when cancer has metastasized to the other lung and the fluid around the lungs, hearts, and adjoining organs.

How is it treated?

Wondering, “can lung cancer be cured at stage 4?” is fairly common. And, the answer is that its difficult to treat Stage IV lung cancer. However, it isn’t impossible.

With over 40+ years of experience in medicine, Dr. Arvind Kumar has treated lung cancer patients who were diagnosed at a very far stage. The success rate of the treatment relies on how far the cancer has spread and the kind of mutations involved.

Situations like these involve a cocktail of treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, etc.

Also read : What Are The Options For Lung Cancer Treatment In India?

What is the Impact of Lung Cancer Treatment on Patients?

Lung cancer isn’t 100% curable, but it is treatable in each stage of diagnosis. With more advancements in medicine, treatment options are becoming more and more diverse and effective.

Newer treatment options offer precise and targeted impacts on the patient, something that’s fairly effective in treating the condition with minimal side effects. Even with chemotherapy, patients get to enjoy a better quality of life.

If the patient is diagnosed with a terminal stage of lung cancer where no other form of treatment would be viable, the last option is palliative care. This involves supportive treatments that reduce the pain the patient is in during the last few days of their life.


Lung cancer brings a lot of uncertainty, especially for patients who are diagnosed at advanced stages. At Medanta, Dr. Arvind Kumar and his team prioritize early diagnosis and tailored treatment options that offer optimal results in terms of effectiveness and recovery with minimal side effects.

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1. What is the success rate of lung cancer treatment?

The success rate of lung cancer treatment five years into remission,is 56%. However, the same also depends on the stage the patient was diagnosed in and the treatments effectiveness the first time around.

2. Can lung cancer be cured completely?

Lung cancer can be treated, but it can’t be cured 100% since the chances of long-term remission are present.

3. How long can you live after being diagnosed with lung cancer?

The survival rate of patients after a lung cancer diagnosis depends on several factors, including how they respond to the treatment, the stage of diagnosis, etc. However, around 15% of patients live up to 5 years following the diagnosis, and 10% live over 10 years after the diagnosis.

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