Tech4Cancer – Similar to other cancer, lung cancer is also divided into several stages. Each of them shows the severity level of this disease. The final stage is stage 4 lung cancer. Once you reach this stage, it is difficult to cure and treat. The treatment mostly is used to slow down the disease, but in the end, it won’t cure you. They are only a way to prolong your life. How long can a patient survive? In the worst case, what about stage 4 lung cancer life expectancy without treatment?
Stage 4 Lung Cancer
Before we move to the life expectancy question, you should know what stage 4 lung cancer is. What kind of condition do you have when you are in this stage? Plus, we also want you to learn more about the symptoms that you have entered this final stage of lung cancer.
Stage 4 of lung cancer disease is a condition in which the cancer cell has spread outside the lungs. It is already infecting other organs and parts of your body. Because of this condition, the focused treatment that works for cancer is no longer working. In many cases, the treatment is only for supporting the other organ function so it can work as long as possible.
When you have entered this stage, the treatment also has a different goal than the previous stage. The treatment for the previous three stages of lung cancer has a goal to cure and remove the cancer cell out of your body. Then, you can regain your health and return to your previous condition.
However, stage 4 lung cancer treatment goal is to give you comfort. It could be your final struggle and moment in your life. Because of that, the treatment for stage 4 lung cancer is not only medical treatment. You also will receive emotional support. Therefore, your family, lover, and friends have a significant role here. Your doctor also can join the party. They will provide more information about this disease. That helps you feel comfortable and people that are close to you know what they have to do.
The Symptoms of the Final Stages of Lung Cancer
The final stage of lung cancer shows different symptoms depending on the person that suffers from this disease. The severity is also different. However, if you have to mention the common symptoms of stage 4 lung cancer, here is what you will find:
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing for a long time,
- Concentration problem,
- Extreme weakness and fatigue,
- Have low to no appetite,
- Doesn’t want to drink that much,
- When you breathe, the upper part of your chest feels different. It sounds rattling there. It also occurs on the throat,
- Fast and short breathing,
- There is often a pause between breaths.
However, we also need to remind you of one thing. Even though one or more of those symptoms appear on someone, it doesn’t mean that person has stage 4 lung cancer. Those signs could be a sign of other health diseases. Therefore, you must take that person, especially if they are your beloved ones, to a doctor or hospital to get a more accurate diagnosis. Then, you will find out whether or not the lung cancer has reached that stage.
By taking the person with the symptoms to the hospital, you also can receive the treatment recommendation for the disease. If that person has the final stage of lung cancer, they will get the treatment they need as soon as possible. So, they can spend the rest of their time in a more positive environment, mentally and physically.
Another thing you also should know is not all lung cancer symptoms, especially the final stage, are physical. Many patients also experience various mental issues. For example, they feel anxiety, depression, and such. Therefore, you should look for support from a mental health provider or therapist. They can help the patient to ease their mind. Of course, your support as a family or closest person is undeniably necessary. Stay close to that person and give more love.
What Will Happen When A Patient in the Final Stage of Lung Cancer Gets No Treatment?
Now, we have arrived at our important question. What will happen to the patient without treatment? How long is their life expectancy without treatment? It is indeed a ridiculous thought. Why would you let the patient of final stage lung cancer not receive any treatment? Is that only putting them into misery?
Yes, logically, the idea of a final stage lung cancer patient not getting a treatment is indeed something that you shouldn’t do. However, many circumstances put someone in this situation. For example, they have no budget to afford intensive treatment for a long period. Therefore, they have to decide to stop the treatment or not get the treatment at all.
Now, if you are in the same situation, this information will help you to understand and prepare for the future. First of all, according to the American Cancer Society, 6 percent of people with late-stage lung cancer have a chance to live for five years. During those five years, they can live like a normal person who doesn’t have lung cancer. After that, the condition will get worse. All symptoms will begin to appear.
With treatment, people can live more than five years. However, you also need to understand that cancer can give different effects on each person. Some can live for five years or more. The others may only survive for weeks or months. Your health, age, and location of lung cancer also affect life expectancy.
How about stage 4 lung cancer life expectancy without treatment? The answer is not fixed. It is hard to tell because each person has a different body constitution. We can only use the result of many kinds of research about this matter. And, most of them found a similar thing. Without treatment, you only have around 7 months of life expectancy. It could be longer or shorter than 7 months depending on your condition.
In short, once lung cancer enters its final stage, you have nothing much to do. It is almost impossible to recover. Only a miracle can bring you back to the previous condition. What you need to do is wait. And, without treatment, your waiting time is much shorter than those with treatment.
How Lung Cancer Kill?
Now, you already know the life expectancy of lung cancer in its final stage. But, you might also be curious about how this disease can cause a serious problem, which eventually kills the person that has it. Here, we have information about how lung cancer damages and kills a person.
- The cancer cell that grows wildly can damage the healthy cells from other parts and organs in the body. Because of that, parts or organs can’t work normally.
- Cancer cells also can stop your lung’s function. It means you won’t be able to breathe in the oxygen that your body needs. When your body doesn’t get enough supply of oxygen, it will stop working, which eventually leads to death.
- Lung cancer also can grow exponentially in the air duct inside your lungs. It blocks the air from entering the lungs. That once again stops the supply of oxygen into your body.
- In some cases, lung cancer in its final stage also creates a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. The bacteria will cause infection and health problems, like pneumonia. Worst of all, your body is too weak to fight the infection.
- When lung cancer spreads to other parts of your body, there is also a chance that it blocks your blood vessels. It is a dangerous situation that can cause death.
- As we mentioned, lung cancer also can damage other organs, in this case, is liver. The damaged liver won’t be able to remove the toxic inside your blood. It also can’t help your body store energy or produce cholesterol that the body needs to build new tissue and regeneration. That condition will be dangerous without treatment.
- Lung cancer that spreads excessively also can reach your brain. Once it attacks the brain, it will be a life-threatening condition. Your brain controls all functions of your body. When it stops working, you are dead.
As you can see, the effect of lung cancer on its final stage on your body is so severe. For that reason, treatments are necessary to ease all those symptoms. That helps the patient to feel at peace while waiting for their time to leave the world.
So, if the patient gets no treatment, it will be one of the worst and most painful journeys in their life. The mental support from their family and friends may be the only one that can help them feel comfortable. But, it won’t be the same as the patient that has received treatment.
The Treatments for Stage 4 Lung Cancer
Depending on the type of lung cancer, the location, and your health condition, the treatment could be different. In general, two types of lung cancer conditions require different treatment. Here they are:
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
For this type of lung cancer, the aim is to control cancer’s spread and reduce its symptoms. Here are some of the treatments that patients with this lung cancer will receive.
- Targeted cancer drugs,
- Other than those three, you also receive the treatment to control the symptoms, such as:
- External and internal radiotherapy (brachytherapy),
- Laser treatment,
- Cryotherapy (freezing the tumor),
- A rigged tube,
- Light therapy or photodynamic therapy (PDT).
Small Cell Lung Cancer
As for small cell lung cancer type, mostly you will get chemotherapy. If chemotherapy works well, the next treatment you will get is radiotherapy. The doctor will focus on your chest with this treatment. However, you might also receive it for the head area, in case the cancer cell spreads in that area. The head treatment here is also known as Prophylactic Cranial Radiotherapy (PCR).
All those treatments are required to let the patient live a bit longer. It also eases their symptoms and pain because of lung cancer. As you can see, it requires so many treatments and that could cost more than you ever imagined. Because of that, many people decide not to take it and want to be with their family or loved ones.
We can’t blame them for deciding not to receive any treatment. That could be much better for them because they can feel more peaceful close to their family members. We hope you also understand this matter. Now, you also know the stage 4 lung cancer life expectancy without treatment, which hopefully will be a good reference for you to face this situation.