Prognosis for Secondary Cancer in the Lungs

Secondary lung cancer.
Secondary lung cancer. (Image: Image by, courtesy of Ewen Roberts)

Secondary cancer in the lungs occurs when what medically is known as metastasis occurs. Metastasis is the process of cancer spreading from one location in the body to another. For example, liver cancer oftentimes spreads from that organ to others, including to a patient's lungs.


Lung cancer generally is one of the most serious variations of this disease. When treatment immediately occurs, the survival rate is five years. In other cases, the rate is a matter of weeks or months.


In the case of secondary lung cancer, the prognosis is less optimistic. Because a person is dealing with cancer elsewhere in her body, her system is weakened. Many patients may have a matter of weeks to live after such a diagnosis.


Secondary lung cancer arises from sources throughout the body, in addition to primary liver cancer. Skin, stomach, prostate, ovarian–any other type of primary cancer–can lead to secondary lung cancer.


Treatment for secondary lung cancer includes chemotherapy and radiation. If the secondary lung cancer is isolated in one lung or in very specific sections of the lungs, surgery is possible.


Due to the low prognosis for survival from secondary lung cancer, a patient with any other type of cancer is wise to have regular tests undertaken to ensure that the disease is not spreading.

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