About Lung Cancer


The stage of your cancer is one of the most important factors in determining the best treatment option for you.

Staging of Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC):

  • TNM is the staging system for NSCLC. “T” stands for tumor size, “N” stands for lymph nodes and “M” is for metastasis.
    • Tumor size is determined when the tumor is removed and sent to the pathologist
    • Lymph nodes are checked for evidence of tumor spread with CT scans, PET scans, lymph node biopsy or at the time of surgery, in a procedure called a lymph node dissection.
    • Metastasis, or spread to other organs, is assessed with bone scans, x-rays and CT scans.
Putting all this information together is called staging. Stages for NSCLC range from stage 0 to Stage IV. Your physician will tell you what stage of cancer you have.

Staging of Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC):

SCLC is generally divided into Limited-Stage Small Cell and Extensive-Stage Small Cell

  • Limited-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer is found in one lung, the tissues between the lung and nearby lymph nodes only.
  • Extensive-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer has spread from the lung in which it began into the other lung, or to other parts of the body.
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