Once the cancer is found in your lung, it is important for your doctor to determine its stage. The staging is necessary in the choice of the treatment and evaluation of the prognosis. In general, lung cancer includes the following stages:
Stages of non-small cell lung cancer
- Stage I – a stage 1 lung cancer is very localized in the lung; the tumor has affected the underlying lung tissue, but has not spread into nearby lymph nodes. The survival chance is high.
- Stage II – cancer has affected the underlying lung tissue and has spread into lymph nodes surrounding the lungs.
- Stage IIIA – the cancer has spread into other lymph nodes or tissues surrounding its initial location in the chest cavity.
- Stage IIIB – at this stage, le cancer has invaded not only thechest cavity, but also other vital organs: heart, blood vessels, trachea and/or esophagus.
- Stage IV – Stage IV indicates a very serious phase of the tumor. The cancer, from lungs and surrounding organs, has spread into other organs such as the liver, bones or brain; survival chance is very low.
Stages of small cell lung cancer
- Limited – the cancer remainsin the thorax and has affected one lung;
- Extensive – the tumor has spread to other organs outside the thorax, and most often, both lungs are affected.