Cancer Treatment Centers of America

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Lung cancer stages

Making an educated treatment decision begins with the stage, or progression, of the disease. Using the results from your diagnostic tests, your care team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) will develop an appropriate treatment plan for you.

If you have been recently diagnosed, we will review your pathology to confirm you have received the correct diagnosis and staging information, and develop a personalized treatment plan. If you have a recurrence, we will perform comprehensive testing and identify a treatment approach that is suited to your needs.

Video: Cancer Staging

Cancer Staging

Lung cancer stages

Small cell lung cancer staging

Small cell lung cancer stages are classified in one of two ways:

  • Limited stage: Cancer is in one lung, sometimes including nearby lymph nodes.
  • Extensive stage: Cancer has spread to the other lung, the fluid around the lung (the pleura) or to other organs in the body.

Non-small cell lung cancer staging

Non-small cell lung cancer staging uses the TNM system:

  • Tumor(T) describes the size of the original tumor.
  • Lymph node (N) indicates whether the cancer is present in the lymph nodes.
  • Metastasis (M) refers to whether cancer has spread to other parts of the body, usually the liver, bones or brain.

A number (0-4) or the letter X is assigned to each factor. A higher number indicates increasing severity. For instance, a T1 score indicates a smaller tumor than a T2 score. The letter X means the information could not be assessed.

Once the T, N and M scores have been assigned, an overall stage is assigned.

Stages of non-small cell lung cancer:

We're here to guide you through the cancer journey

We understand you may be feeling overwhelmed with questions and concerns about your type of cancer and what it all means. We're here to help guide you through the process.

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An accurate cancer diagnosis

accurate cancer diagnosis

Our team of cancer experts uses advanced, minimally invasive diagnostic technology to detect cancerous cells anywhere in the body.

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