Survival Rates for Lung Cancer by Stage

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month here are some statistics about survival rates from

Survival rates for non-small cell lung cancer, by stage

The numbers below are calculated from the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database, based on people who were diagnosed with NSCLC between 1998 and 2000. Although they are based on people diagnosed several years ago, they are the most recent rates published for the current AJCC staging system.


The 5-year survival rate for people with stage IA NSCLC is about 49%.

For people with stage IB NSCLC, the 5-year survival rate is about 45%.

Those with stage IIA cancer, have a 5-year survival rate of about 30%.

For stage IIB cancer, the survival rate is about 31%.

The 5-year survival rate for stage IIIA NSCLC is about 14%.

For stage IIIB cancers the survival rate is about 5%.

NSCLC that has spread to other parts of the body is often hard to treat.

Metastatic, or stage IV NSCLC, has a 5-year survival rate of about 1%. Still, there are often many treatment options available for people with this stage of cancer.

Take this quiz to see if you should be screened for lung cancer.


My husband is a walking miracle.

My husband, Dan, was diagnosed with stage IV Metastatic Non-small cell lung cancer in 2012. In fact, he just had his 4-year “cancerversary.” He really is a walking miracle. He has always said, “Someone has to be in the 1%. Why not me?”

We also just had our 7 year wedding anniversary.

In other celebratory news…

Happy Halloween or as it is known in our home “Tax Day.” This is the day our kids pay their annual, “I gave birth to you,” tax. It’s equal to about a quart of candy.

Now, for an update:

Dan and I spent the night making plans for our upcoming vacation. It has always been a dream of Dan’s to drive the Pacific Coast Highway with me. The Dream Foundation is going to help make that possible. They are flying us to California on November 10th.

We’ll spend a few nights with Emily, Phil, and the boys in Bakersfield. Then we’re going to Disneyland! After that, we’ll drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco.  We have some stops along the way. The Dream foundation is covering 3 nights of hotel rooms at some very nice hotels.

My mom will watch the girls that week.

We are very thankful that Dan has been feeling well lately so that he can really enjoy the trip.  He’ll have his next scan the first week of January. Until then, we are going to soak up life.

Speaking of life, Dan will be 56 on November 17th. We plan on enjoying his birthday in Big Sur. We will fly home on November 19th.

I will be having surgery.

Then, a few days later on November 22nd, I’ll have surgery on my left foot, called a second metatarsal osteotomy. It’ll be outpatient surgery, but I won’t be able to bear any weight on the foot for 6 weeks while it heals. It will be interesting trying to manage the household while I’m recovering.

Dan is working on his second book on praying the Psalms and I’m completing the 1st draft of my book about parenting when you have cancer.

We’re so thankful for your prayers.

Lung Cancer Awareness Reminder: You don’t have to be a smoker to get Lung Cancer!


About Heather Erickson

I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since my husband, Dan was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness.

My goal is to help people face cancer with grace.

My book Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone who Has Cancer, is available on


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