Staging of lung cancer involves the evaluation of all the stages in which lung cancer progresses to; each stage has its own characteristics. As the cancer progresses to the next stage, it becomes more dangerous for the patient. The higher the stage of the cancer, the higher the risk of death tragedy. Spread of lung cancer from one part of the body to another determines the present stage of the lung cancer. Lung cancer that has advanced in stage indicates that the cancer tumor has spread beyond the lungs to other parts of the body. Staging of lung cancer helps to evaluate the size of metastases in other parts of the body where the cancer has spread to.
Moreover, staging of lung cancer helps doctors to determine how a particular lung cancer should be treated, and the right steps and decisions to take in order to achieve a successful treatment. Staging of lung cancer is also important for the estimation of the prognosis of a cancer patient. The higher the stage of the cancer, the worse the prognosis becomes, but if the cancer has not yet progressed to a higher stage, the prognosis could be easier.
The two main types of lung cancer have their different stages, with non-small cell lung cancer having stages from stage zero to four, while small cell lung cancer has only two stages which are limited small cell lung cancer and extensive small cell lung cancer. Each of the stages of both types of lung cancer has their characteristics.
However, doctors uses several tests to accurately determine the stages of lung cancer, these tests include blood tests, x-rays, CT scans, PET scans, and so on. The higher the stage of lung cancer suffered by a patient, the lower the chances of the patient surviving the cancer.