Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
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Stage IV non-small lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most advanced form of the disease. In stage IV, the cancer has metastasized, or spread, beyond the lungs into other areas of the body. About 40 percent of NSCLC patients are diagnosed with lung cancer when they are in stage IV. The five-year survival rate for those diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer is less than 10 percent.
There are numerous treatment options available for patients with advanced-stage disease at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). We also provide therapies to ease the symptoms that can be associated with NSCLC, while improving your quality of life.
TNM Categories of Stage IV
Stage IV lung cancer can be any T or N, meaning that the tumor can be any size and may or may not have grown into the nearby lymph nodes. The cancer can be categorized as either M1A or M1B. For M1A, any of the following will be true:
- The cancer has spread to the other lung.
- Cancer cells are located in the fluid surrounding the lungs (malignant pleural effusion).
- Cancer cells are located in the fluid surrounding the heart (malignant pericardial effusion).
M1B stage IV lung cancer means that the cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes or to other organs such as the bones, liver, adrenal gland, kidneys or brain.
Stage IV Lung Cancer Treatment
With stage IV non-small cell lung cancer, surgery is typically not an option since the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body. CTCA offers a variety of treatment options to treat stage IV lung cancer. Your care team will take into account the stage of the disease, along with factors such as your general health and personal preferences, to determine which treatments are best suited to you.
- Radiation Therapy: May be used to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
- Chemotherapy: These drugs can kills cancer cells and slow down the growth of the cancer.
- Chemotherapy/Radiation Combination: Chemotherapy and radiation can be given simultaneously, or one after the other when combining the treatment.
- Clinical Trials: Many clinical trials are open to patients with stage IV lung cancer. Enrolling in a clinical trial may give you access to new therapies. Your doctor can provide information about ongoing studies that may be available to you.
- Additional Care: Many drugs are available to help ease pain and the side effects of stage IV lung cancer treatment. Your doctor can discuss treatments for nausea, vomiting, fatigue and more.
As you receive lung cancer treatment, your care team will provide supportive therapies, like nutrition therapy and oncology rehabilitation, to help preserve more of your lung function and reduce treatment-related side effects. We also help you and your family cope with the personal challenges of fighting lung cancer, with individual and family counseling, as well as support groups.
At CTCA, we look at everything that is happening with you. We aggressively target the disease, treat any side effects you are experiencing, and work with you to meet your individual goals. Our Survivorship Support program also continues to support you once you return home.
Call us today at 1-800-615-3055 or click to chat to be connected with a CTCA Oncology Information Specialist who can help you learn more about non-small cell lung cancer treatments offered at our cancer hospitals.