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Lung Cancer

LUNG CANCER STAGING

If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, your doctor will work to determine the extent (stage) to help you and your doctor decide what treatment is most appropriate.

Staging tests may include imaging procedures that allow your doctor to look for evidence that cancer has spread beyond your lungs. These tests include CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and bone scans. Not every test is appropriate for every person, so talk with your doctor about which procedures are right for you.

Stages of lung cancer:

  • Stage I. Cancer is limited to the lung and hasn't spread to the lymph nodes. The tumor is generally smaller than 2 inches (5 centimeters) across.
  • Stage II. The tumor at this stage may have grown larger than 2 inches, or it may be a smaller tumor that involves nearby structures, such as the chest wall, the diaphragm or the lining around the lungs (pleura). Cancer may also have spread to the nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage III. The tumor at this stage may have grown very large and invaded other organs near the lungs. Or this stage may indicate a smaller tumor accompanied by cancer cells in lymph nodes farther away from the lungs.
  • Stage IV. Cancer has spread beyond the affected lung to the other lung or to distant areas of the body.

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Types of Lung Cancer

THERE ARE THREE MAIN TYPES OF LUNG CANCER

Knowing which type of lung cancer you have is important because it affects your treatment options and your outlook (prognosis). If you aren’t sure which type of lung cancer you have, ask your doctor so you can get the right information.

  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: This is the most common type of lung cancer. About 85% of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma are all subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer.
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer: Small cell lung cancer is also called oat cell cancer. About 10%-15% of lung cancers are small cell lung cancers. This type of lung cancer tends to spread quickly.
  • Lung Carcinoid Tumor: Fewer than 5% of lung cancers are lung carcinoid tumors. They are also sometimes called lung neuroendocrine tumors. Most of these tumors grow slowly and rarely spread.

Patient Care Team

To tackle cancer and other lung diseases, it takes more than a great doctor by your side—it takes a whole team of them. Our oncologists, thoracic surgeons, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, primary care physicians, pathologists and pulmonologists all work together to support patients and tailor the very best treatment to meet each person’s individual needs.

Lung Cancer