What stage was your lung cancer when you were diagnosed?
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What is staging of lung cancer?
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.
SCLC are staged using a two-tiered system:
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.