The Stages of Lung Cancer

When a person is diagnosed with lung cancer, the disease progression is defined by a stage. Usually the stages of lung cancer are divided into four stages. Depending on how far the cancer has developed is the deciding factor for the stage with stage four being the worst. A number system is used for both non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer.

n the stages of non-small cell lung cancer, stage one means the cancer is localized, in the lung or lungs only and not spread to nearby lymph nodes. This stage is also broken down where stage 1A indicates a small tumor and stage 1B means the cancer is larger and may be growing in the lung’s main airway. Stage 1b lung cancer also includes tumors that have grown into the lung or may have caused the affected lung to collapse. In the stages of lung cancer, stage two is also broken down into two categories. Stage 2A indicates the cancer is small but it has affected nearby lymph nodes.

Stage 2B can mean the tumor is larger and has spread to the nearby lymph nodes. I can also mean the lung cancer has grown into the outer part of the lung, the chest wall, the diaphragm or the covering of the heart. This is obviously more serious than stage one lung cancer.

As the number go up in the stages of lung cancer, the disease is more advanced. In stages three and four, the cancer is affecting other lymph nodes and other organs. These stages of lung cancer are more difficult to treat and definitely have more serious effects on the individual. The stages of lung cancer can actually be a little confusing and for most people requires explanation. For those interested in gaining more knowledge about the various stages of lung cancer, visiting one of the many Internet medical websites can certainly provide answers to questions they may have.