Knowing the lung cancer stage will help your treatment team give the best treatment options for you.

What is lung cancer staging?

Lung cancer staging tells you the size of the cancer in your lungs and if it has spread to other parts of your body.

Based on your test results, the treatment team will give the cancer a stage between 1 and 4.

This is based on:

  • the size of the cancer in your lung

  • if it has spread to other parts in your chest

  • if it has spread to lymph nodes (glands) in the chest or neck
  • if it has spread to other parts of your body

The treatment you will be offered for lung cancer will be based on the stage of the cancer, as well as your general health. 

  • Ko tā te mahi whakawāhanga, he whakamōhio i a koe mō te momo rahi o te matepukupuku kei roto i ō pūkahukahu, ā, mehemea hoki kua hōrapa ki wāhi kē o tō tinana.
  • Whai muri i te mahi āta mātai i ō huanga whakamātautau, ka ‘whakawāhanga’ tō rata i tō mate, ki waenganui i te tahi me te whā.
  • Mā te mahi whakawāhanga e āwhina tō rata whakatau ko tēwhea te maimoa pai rawa atu mō tō matepukupuku pūkahukahu.

The stages of lung cancer

If your test results show lung cancer, your treatment team will give the cancer a stage between 1 and 4.

This is a simplified table of lung cancer staging:

Stage Definition
Stage 1 Only one lobe of the lung is affected.
Stage 2 The tumour has spread to nearby lymph nodes, or the tumour has grown into the chest wall.
Stage 3A The tumour has spread to lymph nodes in the centre of the chest (mediastinum).
Stage 3B Tumours have spread more extensively to lymph nodes in the mediastinum or neck or have become attached to major blood vessels or the trachea.
Stage 4 The cancer cells have spread to distant parts of the body, such as the bones or liver.

 

Prognosis for lung cancer

The prognosis is the likely outcome of a disease. 

If the test results show lung cancer, you may wish to speak with your treatment team about the prognosis.

The doctors will look at the type and stage of the cancer as well as your age and general health to give a prognosis, but no doctor can predict the exact outcome for you. 

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Last updated: July 1, 2021