A person's chance of surviving lung cancer doesn't depend on age - getting diagnosed early is what counts.
Research presented at the Australian Lung Cancer Conference in Sydney on Tuesday shows there is no correlation between age and lung cancer survival outcomes.
The study - a collaboration between Pathology Queensland, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service and Cancer Second Opinion - looked at the records of more than 1000 lung cancer patients.
The analysis found no clear link between age and survival outcomes, however early diagnosis was associated with a better overall prognosis.
Survival was four times higher among patients diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer than stage 4 - the most advanced stage.
"Our study shows that it doesn't matter whether you're 70 or whether you're 40, getting diagnosed early is what counts," said lead researcher and biomedical research scientist Thys Matthews.
Lung cancer is Australia's number one cancer killer, with an estimated 9000 Australians expected to die of the disease this year.
Heather Allan, CEO of Lung Foundation Australia, says the new research reinforces just how important it is that people are aware of the symptoms of lung cancer.
"With the right treatment and care, it's possible for people diagnosed at 65 years or older to live for years with lung cancer," said Ms Allan.
"So if you are breathless, have chest pain or neck pain, a persistent cough, or have a history of smoking, speak to your doctor," she urged.
SYMPTOMS OF LUNG CANCER
* Shortness of breath
* Chest pain
* Coughing or spitting up blood
* New cough that does not go away
* Recurring bronchitis or pneumonia
* Loss of appetite
* Unexplained weight loss