Background: Conventional thoracic surgical teaching suggests a worse outcome for lower lobe lung cancers. It is unclear whether this is due to stage migration or whether lobar location is an independent negative prognostic factor. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of our institutional database of patients undergoing resection for pathologic stage I or stage II lung cancer between Jan 2000 and December 2006. Survival analysis was used to compare outcomes in various groups using the log-rank test. Logistic regression analysis was used to compare the primary dependent variables; age, size, and location of tumor (both laterality and lobe), histology (adenocarcinoma, squamous, large cell, or neuroendocrine and others) and type of resection (wedge, lobectomy or segmentectomy, and pneumonectomy). Results: A total of 841 patients met the inclusion criteria. The mean age of patients was 64.9 years, mean tumor size 3.3 cm, and, 144 patients had N1 disease. The three-year and five-year survivals for stage I tumors were 346 of 478 (72.4%) and 277 of 497 (55.7%), respectively. There was no difference in survival based upon lobar location. The three-year and five-year survivals for stage II tumors were 81 of 175 (46.3%) and 39 of 150 (26%), respectively, and lobar location did not influence survival. Logistic regression analysis showed that for stage I tumors increasing age and having undergone a pneumonectomy were associated with worse survival, and for stage II tumors increasing age and adenocarcinoma histology were associated with worse survival. Conclusions: Tumor location within the lung does not predict survival in pathologic stage I/II non-small cell lung carcinoma. Increasing age, adenocarcinoma histology, and pneumonectomy as the resection may lead to worse long-term survival.