Ask the experts
What does it mean when a doctor says you have lung cancer and
you ask what kind and he says nodule? What are the survival rates for this kind
Simply put, lung cancer comes in two varieties, small cell
and non-small cell. The primary treatment for small cell type is chemotherapy.
The primary treatment for non-small cell type is surgery.
Before surgery can be performed, the extent of
the cancer must be determined . This is referred to as staging. The stage of the
cancer predicts the chance for survival after therapy. The less the cancer has
spread, the greater the chance for long term survival.
Stage I cancer includes those tumors that are
small and only are located in the tissue of one lung. This often includes tumors
about the size of a golf ball. These are often referred to as nodules on x-ray.
Surgery with this limited extent of disease can result in 80-90% cure rates.
As the tumor spreads into the lymph nodes of the
lung, then the chest, and then to other parts of the body, the staging number
increases. The higher the stage, the less the chance for cure.
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Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018