Table of Contents
- Lung cancer facts
- What is lung cancer?
- How common is lung cancer?
- What are the causes and risk factors for lung cancer?
- What causes lung cancer? (Part 2)
- What causes lung cancer? (Part 3)
- What are the types of lung cancer?
- What are lung cancer symptoms and signs?
- What specialists treat lung cancer?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose lung cancer?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose lung cancer? (Continued)
- How do health-care professionals determine lung cancer staging?
- What is the treatment for lung cancer?
- What is the treatment for lung cancer? (Part 2)
- What is the treatment for lung cancer? (Part 3)
- What is the prognosis and life expectancy of lung cancer?
- Is it possible to prevent lung cancer?
Quick GuideLung Cancer Symptoms, Stages, Treatment
How do health-care professionals determine lung cancer staging?
The stage of a cancer is a measure of the extent to which a cancer has spread in the body. Staging involves evaluation of a cancer's size and its penetration into surrounding tissue as well as the presence or absence of metastases in the lymph nodes or other organs. Staging is important for determining how a particular cancer should be treated, since lung-cancer therapies are geared toward specific stages. Staging of a cancer also is critical in estimating the prognosis of a given patient, with higher-stage cancers generally having a worse prognosis than lower-stage cancers.
Doctors may use several tests to accurately stage a lung cancer, including laboratory (blood chemistry) tests, X-rays, CT scans, bone scans, MRI scans, and PET scans. Abnormal blood chemistry tests may signal the presence of metastases in bone or liver, and radiological procedures can document the size of a cancer as well as its spread.
NSCLC are assigned a stage from I to IV in order of severity:
- In stage I, the cancer is confined to the lung.
- In stages II and III, the cancer is confined to the chest (with larger and more invasive tumors classified as stage III).
- Stage IV cancer has spread from the chest to other parts of the body.
Most doctors use a two-tiered system to determine treatment for SCLC:
- Limited-stage (LS) SCLC refers to cancer that is confined to its area of origin in the chest.
- In extensive-stage (ES) SCLC, the cancer has spread beyond the chest to other parts of the body.
American Cancer Society. "Lung Cancer." <http://www.cancer.org/cancer/lungcancer/>.
American Lung Association. "Lung Cancer Fact Sheet." Nov. 3, 2016. <http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/learn-about-lung-cancer/lung-cancer-fact-sheet.html>.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Lung Cancer." Oct. 25, 2016. <http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/>.
United States. National Cancer Institute. "Lung Cancer." <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/lung>.
2.Getty Images/Science Photo Library
3.iStock/ MedicineNet / American Cancer Society
5.iStock / Getty Images
10.National Cancer Institute / Ytrottier/ iStock
11.Getty Images/Science Photo Library / iStock