Treatment Options by Stage

Treatment Options by Stage

Staging is the process of determining where the cancer has spread. The lower the stage, the less aggressive the cancer. Three key factors are used to determine the cancer stage: T (the size of the tumor), N (if the lymph nodes are involved in the cancer) and M (if the cancer has metastasized, or spread, to other organs in the body).

The stage of cancer needs to be determined in order to decide on the most appropriate treatment plan. Other factors, such as the patient's overall health and physical condition, are also taken into consideration. 

More about lung cancer staging

  Stage    

Likely Treatment Options

Occult Stage

Surgery to remove the small portion of the lung where cancer cells are found.

Stage 0

Because carcinoma in situ is non-invasive, it is removed by surgery (wedge resection or segmental resection).

Stage IA

Surgery to remove a portion of the lung or a lobe of the lung,external radiation therapy (usually for patients who are not fit enough for surgery or choose not to have surgery).

Stage IB

Surgery to remove the tumor, external radiation therapy (usually for patients who are not fit enough for surgery or choose not to have surgery) and, at times, chemotherapy following surgery.

Stave II

Surgery to remove the tumor, external radiation therapy (usually for patients who are not fit enough for surgery or choose not to have surgery) and chemotherapy following surgery.

Stage IIIA

Treatment may include surgery only, external radiation therapy only, chemotherapy combined with other treatments, or a combination of surgery and external radiation therapy.

Stage IIIB

Treatment may include external radiation therapy only, chemotherapy combined with external radiation therapy, chemo therapy combined with external radiation therapy followed by surgery, or chemotherapy alone.

Stage IV

Treatment could include external radiation therapy to relieve pain and improve quality of life, chemotherapy or internal radiation therapy. Surgical palliation may also be offered to improve quality of life.

More Information

Surgery

Radiation Therapy

Chemotherapy

About Lung Cancer

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