Cancer Treatment Centers of America

We're available 24/7
(800) 615-3055

Chat online with us

Chat now

Other ways to contact us

Have us
call you
(800) 615-3055

Have questions? Call (800) 615-3055 to speak to a cancer information specialist.
Or we can call you.

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

Non-small cell lung cancer occult stage

The occult stage is the earliest stage of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that can be diagnosed. At this stage, the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body. The five-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with occult stage non-small cell lung cancer is 60 - 80 percent.

What is occult stage lung cancer?

Patients are diagnosed with occult stage NSCLC when cancer cells are found in the sputum (mucus from the lungs), but tumors are not immediately visible. Patients in the occult stage of lung cancer often do not have symptoms, though a persistent cough could be an indication.

When cancer cells are identified, tumors can be located with imaging tools such as:

  • Chest X-Ray
  • MRI
  • CT Scan
  • Bronchoscopy

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) we use PET/CT (positron emission tomography/computerized tomography), which combines two imaging technologies in one to detect small tumors in the lungs. Combining PET/CT technology reveals where healthy lung tissue ends and the tumor begins. A PET scan also reveals cancerous cells before any structural changes are present. This precisely pinpoints tumors, so that we can properly diagnose and stage the disease, and focus strictly on treating the cancerous tissues.

After the tumor is located (if it can be located), treatment is determined after the tumor is staged, using the TNM staging system.

TNM categories of occult stage

An occult stage non-small cell lung cancer diagnosis occurs in conjunction with the following TNM categories:

  • TX: Cancer cells were spotted, but no tumor can be located.
  • N0: The cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes.
  • M0: There cancer has not spread to organs or other areas.

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.

Our hospital
Explore our cancer hospitals, which house the latest treatments, technologies and integrative oncology services under one roof.
Patient centered
Discover our patient-centered approach, and how you get all your questions answered in a single visit by a dedicated team of cancer experts.
Contact us
Discuss treatment options with an Oncology Information Specialist, who is available 24/7 at (800) 615-3055, or chat with us.

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.

Cancer Types
Our Doctors
Your browser (Internet Explorer 7) is out of date. Learn how to update your browser.