Everything You Need to Know about Metastatic Lung Cancer Prognosis


Metastatic lung cancer is when cancer cells from the other areas of the body spread to your lungs. There are various methods that are used in the treatment of this form of cancer. Read on to know more about the metastatic lung cancer prognosis.

Usually, cancer develops in one area of the body and this area is known as the ‘primary site’. Cancer cells have a unique ability to break free from these primary sites and travel to the other parts of your body either through the bloodstream or through the lymph system. A cancer is termed as metastatic cancer, when it spreads from the primary sites to the other parts of the body. You suffer from metastatic lung cancer, when cancer in the other areas of your body spreads to the lungs. Some of the primary tumors that can cause metastatic lung cancer are breast cancer, bladder cancer, sarcoma, prostate cancer, kidney cancer, colon cancer, and neuroblastoma.

Metastatic lung cancer may not always show up in signs and symptoms. Even when you do start experiencing the symptoms, it may be quite difficult to identity this form of lung cancer, because the symptoms are similar to several other medical conditions. Some of the symptoms of metastatic lung cancer include chest pain, weakness, a persistent cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, and sudden weight loss. If your doctor suspects metastatic lung cancer, you may have to take various tests to confirm the diagnosis of metastatic lung cancer. These tests are a bronchoscopy, a CT scan, a chest X-ray, and a lung needle biopsy.

There are several methods available for the treatment of metastatic lung cancer and the main aim of these methods is to relieve the symptoms as well as to control the cancer growth. The treatment plan that is ideal for you depends on a number of factors that include your overall health, age, medical history, the number of tumors, the location and size of the tumor, as well as the type of the primary tumor. You need to understand the treatments to know more about the metastatic lung cancer prognosis. The various treatment options are:

  • Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is an aggressive method that is used to treat different types of cancer including metastatic lung cancer. It is basically a chemical drug therapy that helps in the treatment of cancer by destroying the cancer cells in the body. There are over 100 chemotherapy drugs that can be used for cancer treatment, the drugs that the doctor uses depends upon the type of cancer as well as its stage. It is one of the preferred methods for treatment when the cancer is advanced and has spread to different parts of the body. Some of the common side effects associated with chemotherapy are hair loss, nausea, vomiting, fertility problems, and bone marrow changes.

  • Surgery

When the cancer is spread to limited areas of your lung, surgery can help get rid of cancer by removing the metastatic tumors in your lungs. This method is generally used once the primary tumor is removed or when the cancer is limited to certain parts of your lung.

  • Radiation Therapy

Another method to treat metastatic lung cancer is radiation therapy that makes use of high-energy beams to either kill the cancer cells or to shrink the tumors. It is mainly used for the treatment of metastatic lung cancer, when the cancer is localized to one particular area of your lung.

  • Laser Therapy

Laser therapy makes use of high-intensity light to destroy the cancer cells as well as the tumor. There are, however, certain risks associated with laser therapy. These are bleeding, infection, scarring, and pain.

The metastatic lung cancer prognosis mainly depends on the location of the primary tumor, the size of it, and the stage of the cancer or how far it has spread. The metastatic lung cancer prognosis for certain cancers is positive because they can be effectively treated with chemotherapy. When the primary tumors are located in the colon, kidney, or bladder, the metastatic lung cancer prognosis is still positive, because these tumors can be completely removed by undergoing surgery. Unfortunately, most cases do not have a positive metastatic lung cancer prognosis because they cannot be cured. In such cases, the treatment options mentioned above are used to improve the quality of life and prolong life wherever possible. Do not be dissuaded, there is a lot of ongoing research on preventing this form of cancer so that you won’t have to worry about the metastatic lung cancer prognosis.