The doctor needs to collect information regarding the stage of a lung cancer before deciding any treatment. This is important because cancer is more likely to be treated when the cells haven’t spread to nearby tissues. Once it has metastasized, it will directly affect the life expectancy of the patient. At first, lung cancer may be localized. During later development, the cells will multiply and invade other parts of the body, such as the bones and brain. This is when treating cancer becomes more difficult because there are many areas that the treatment should be target.
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Lung cancer staging
Staging is a way of describing the size of a cancer and how far it has spread. Stage 1 is when the cancer is still localized or stay inside the lung. It is technically easier to treat cancer when it has yet to reach a higher stage. By local means the cells won’t be found in other areas, including the lymph nodes. In terms of size, it is also pretty small, no bigger than 5 cm. When it grows bigger than 7 cm, the cancer is classified as stage 2 cancer. At this stage, the survival rate is still high considering the cells have yet to invade nearby lymph nodes. Stage 3 is when the cancer has infiltrated the lymph nodes. The worst part is it may have also traveled to other areas. It will increase to stage 4 once the cells are found in distant parts of the body, like the brain and the liver.
Certain tests are required to find out whether the cancer has spread or not. One of the tests is called CT scan. It utilizes X-Rays to provide detailed pictures of parts of the body. MRI is another type of test. It is not only useful for lung cancer, but also other types of cancer. When a biopsy can’t provide enough information regarding the cancer that the doctor is trying to learn, this test will be very helpful. It uses a powerful magnet which is connected to a computer. This process also creates detailed pictures of internal parts of the human body. There are many other tests that the doctor will probably suggest, such as Radionuclide Scanning and Mediastinoscopy.
What are the chances of surviving stage 4 lung cancer?
The 5-year survival rate for people with stage 4 lung cancer is sadly pretty low. Only about 4% manage to fight off their cancer and stay alive for 5 years after they were diagnosed with the cancer. There are some factors that affect the survival rate. The patient’s response to treatment is one of them. Some treatments are highly effective, but not everyone can tolerate the chemicals in those medications. That’s what you need to know about lung cancer staging.