Lung Cancer Staging: Non-small Cell
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: The staging of lung cancer refers to the extent of the disease. If you have the most common form of lung cancer, or non-small cell lung cancer, it would be staged according to the size of the tumor and whether it has spread to lymph nodes or other organs of the body. In the occult, or hidden stage, cancer cells are found in coughed up mucous or other lung fluids, but no tumor can be seen in the lung. Stage 0 is not considered invasive because the cancer cells are found in the innermost lining of the air passages but have not grown through it. Stage 1A is considered invasive cancer because the tumor has grown through the inner lining of the airways into the deep lung tissue. When measured, the tumor is no more than 3 centimeters in diameter and has not spread to the bronchi, lymph nodes, or distant sites. In stage 1B, the diameter of the tumor is larger than 3 centimeters or has spread to the main bronchus or has grown through the lung into the inner layer of the pleura. In stage 2A, the tumor is no more than 3 centimeters across, but it has spread to nearby lymph nodes on the same side of the chest as the tumor. There are two scenarios that can occur with stage 2B lung cancer. One, where cancer cells have not spread to nearby lymph nodes but have invaded the chest wall, diaphragm, pleura, the membrane surrounding the heart, or a main bronchus. In the second scenario for stage 2B, the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes on the same side of the chest as the tumor. Also, the tumor is larger than 3 centimeters across or has grown into a main bronchus or has grown through the lung into the pleura. In stage 3A, the tumor may be any size, and the cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes on the same side as the lung tumor. Also, the cancer may have spread to the chest wall, diaphragm, pleura, the membrane around the heart, or a main bronchus but not the trachea. In stage 3B, the tumor may be any size and has spread to lymph nodes above the collar bone or on the other side of the chest. The cancer may have spread to nearby structures, such as the heart, major heart vessels, diaphragm, chest wall, trachea, esophagus, breast bone, or to more than one place in the same lung. In stage 4, cancer has spread to other lobes of the same lung, or into the opposite lung, and has spread to other parts of the body, such as the brain, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, or bone.