The five-year survival rate for people with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung is 16 percent, according to Drugs.com. The cancer's stage at the time of diagnosis can affect this rate, with early detection leading to a better prognosis.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the lung is one type of non-small cell cancer; the other two types are large cell cancer and adenocarcinoma, states Drugs.com. The five-year survival rate for patients with non-small cell cancer is 49 percent for stage 1A cancer and 45 percent for stage 1B cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Studies show a 30 percent survival rate for stage 2A cancer and 31 percent for stage 2B cancer. Stages 3A and 3B have survival rates of 14 percent and five percent, respectively, while the five-year survival rate for those with stage 4 non-small cell cancer drops to one percent.
The stage of the cancer depends on whether it has spread and how far it has spread, states Drugs.com. Stage 1 tumors are small and haven't spread to surrounding tissue or other organs, while stages 2 and 3 tumors have spread to other tissue and the lymph nodes. Stage 4 tumors are those that have spread beyond the chest, possibly to the brain, liver, adrenal glands or bones. Even patients whose cancer has gone into remission might see it return months or years later.