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Stages of Lung Cancer

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 29, 2011
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

Stages of Lung Cancer

The stage of a cancer or tumour refers to the extent to which it has spread in the body. This procedure of deciding the stage of a cancer is often known as staging. Staging involves estimating the size of a tumour and checking the presence or absence of metastases in the lymph nodes or other organs. Staging is an important part of diagnosis as it helps an oncologist know the kind of treatment that the patient would require to recover (if possible) from the disease. It is also critical in estimating the prognosis of the particular patient. Higher-stage tumours have a worse prognosis than lower-stage tumours.

A doctor, typically, uses several tests to stage the lung cancer accurately. These tests include blood tests, CT scans, X-rays, PET scans and bone scans. The tumours are assigned a stage ranging from 0 to IV in order of severity.

Stage 0


This stage is usually not considered by most doctors, but is still a part of staging. In this stage, the cancer is found only on the layer of the cells that line the air passages. This may or may not need a treatment.

Stage I


In stage I, the cancer cells are limited to the lung/s. The tissue around the lung/s remains normal. This stage is divided into stage IA and stage IB depending on the size of the tumour and/or if the main bronchus is involved. The possible treatment for this stage is surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Stage II


In this stage, the cancer would have spread to the lymph nodes, diaphragm, chest wall, lining of the lungs or outer lining that surrounds the heart. This stage is divided into IIA and IIB depending on the size of the tumour and/or if the main bronchus is involved. The possible treatment for this stage is surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Stage III


In this stage, the cancer would have spread to the lymph nodes in the area of the chest between the lungs and the heart. The blood vessels in this area may or may not be affected. The cancer, in this stage, may have spread to the lower neck as well. This stage is usually referred to as “locally advanced”. The stage has been further dividing into:

Stage IIIA: in this stage, the cancer would have spread to the lymph nodes in the center of the chest on the same side where the cancer started. The possible treatment for this stage is surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Stage IIIB:
in this stage, the cancer would have spread to the lymph nodes on the opposite side of the chest and cannot therefore, be removed with surgery. The possible treatment for this stage is a radiation therapy, combination of chemotherapy and/or targeted therapies.

Stage IV

In this stage, the cancer would have spread to the other lung or to other areas in the body and cannot therefore, be removed with surgery. The possible treatment for this stage is a radiation therapy, combination of chemotherapy and/or targeted therapies.

 

 

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Comments
  • judy27 Apr 2012
    just found out threw a xray yesterday i have lymph nodes on my lungs what happens now

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