Prognosis of Carcinoid Tumours of the Lung

By  , Expert Content
Jan 04, 2012

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The term prognosis indicates the chance of cure or recurrence (return) of cancer in a person. For any patient with cancer, it is important to know the prognosis as it helps them understand the possible outcome, what the future holds and thus, handle the disease and live with it better. It also allows for planning of important issues such as finance, life style changes etc.

Some factors that influence the prognosis (chances of cure and risk for recurrence) of carcinoid tumours of the lung include:

  • Size of the tumour.
  • Type of tumour (typical or atypical).
  • Stage of cancer (extent of involvement of regional lymph nodes and spread to other parts of the body).
  • Grade of tumour (how abnormal or malignant the cancer cells are and how quickly the cells grow and spread).
  • Patient factors such as age, general health and response to treatment.

When discussing the prognosis of any cancer, the five-year survival rate is considered an important parameter. Survival rates of a cancer indicate the proportion of people with a certain type and stage of cancer, who live for a specific period of time after their diagnosis. The five-year survival rate indicates the percentage of people with the disease, who are alive even five years after diagnosis (factors such as signs or symptoms of cancer, presence or absence of disease or treatment are not considered). Prognosis is considered to be good if the five-year survival rate is good and the tumour is likely to respond to treatment; but if the cancer is going to be difficult to treat and control, prognosis is considered to be poor or unfavourable.

Prognosis of Carcinoid Tumours of the Lung

Most cases with typical carcinoid lung tumours are diagnosed at an early stage as the tumour grows and spreads slowly. Prognosis of early-stage typical carcinoid lung tumours is usually very good. If atypical carcinoid lung tumour has spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes at the time of diagnosis, prognosis is not very good. As compared with other types of lung cancers, prognosis of carcinoid lung tumours is better.

  • Overall 5-year survival rate of people with carcinoid lung tumours is about 78%-95% and 10-year survival rate is about 77%-90%. The prognosis, however, is not good for an atypical variety.
  • The overall 5-year survival rate of people with atypical carcinoid lung tumours is about 40%-60% and a 10-year survival rate is about 31%-60%.

Remember that prognosis tells the possible course of a disease and not the definite outcome. Discuss with your doctor to know more on the prognosis of your disease.



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