Cancer staging is the process of gathering information to determine the location and extent of the lung cancer and if it has spread to other parts of the body. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease, which assists the doctor in understanding the seriousness of the cancer, providing an optimal treatment plan, identifying potential clinical trials for viable treatment options, and even providing chances of survival.
After determining a diagnosis of small cell or non-small cell lung cancer, oncologists will run additional testing to determine if the cancer cells have spread within the chest or to other parts of the body. Information gathered determines the stage of the disease and the treatment plan.
Additional tests and procedures that may be used in the small cell lung cancer staging process include:
In limited-stage small cell lung cancer, cancer is found in one lung, the tissues between the lungs, and nearby lymph nodes only.
In extensive-stage small cell lung cancer, cancer has spread outside of the lung in which it began or to other parts of the body.
Additional tests and procedures that may be used in the non-small cell lung cancer staging process include:
In this stage, cancer cells are found in sputum (mucus coughed up from the lungs), but no tumor can be found in the lung by imaging or bronchoscopy, or the primary tumor is too small to be checked.
In stage 0, abnormal cells are found in the innermost lining of the airways. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ (localized).
Cancer has formed. Stage I is divided into stages IA and IB:
Stage II is divided into stages IIA and IIB:
Stage III is divided into stages IIIA, IIIB, IIIC:
Stage IV is divided into stages IVA and IVB.
If you or a loved one have been newly diagnosed with lung cancer, our oncologists specialize in lung cancer and are ready to guide you through this journey. We provide patients in the Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA areas the latest lung cancer treatment options based on your unique cancer type. Request an appointment with one of our oncologists to discuss treatment plans for lung cancer.