Occult Stage: Cancer cells are found in sputum at this stage, but no tumour can be detected in the lung. Lung cancer found at this early stage is often cured by surgery.
Stage 0: Cancer is found just in a local area of the lung and only in a few of the cells. It hasn’t yet grown through the top lining of the lung and treatment may well be surgery or photodynamic therapy.
Stage I cancer is found only in the lung and is surrounded by normal tissue. Treatment may well consist of one of the following:
- Radiation therapy
- Clinical trials of chemotherapy
- Clinical trials of chemo-prevention
- Clinical trials of photodynamic therapy
Stage II cancer has increased to incorporate the nearby lymph nodes. Treatment may consist of:
Surgery to remove the tumour and lymph nodes
Surgery and/or radiation therapy with or without chemotherapy
Stage IIIA The cancer has now spread to the chest wall or diaphragm and/or to the lymph nodes in the area separating the two lungs. It could also have spread to the lymph nodes on the other side of the chest or in the neck.
Stage IIIA The cancer can at times be treated with surgery, but treatment will usually consist of the following:
Chemotherapy and other treatments
Surgery and radiation treatment
Radiation treatment alone
Laser therapy and/or internal radiation treatment
Stage IIIB The cancer has now spread to the chest wall and probably the diaphragm near the lung. It may also have spread to the lymph nodes in the area separating the two lungs and to the lymph nodes on the other side of the chest or in the neck.
Stage IIIB cancer is usually inoperable. Treatment may be one of the following:
- Radiation treatment alone
- Chemotherapy plus radiation treatment
- Chemotherapy plus radiation treatment followed by surgery
- Chemotherapy alone
Stage IV The cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Treatment usually includes the following:
- Radiation treatment
- Chemotherapy and radiation treatment
- Laser therapy and/or internal radiation treatment
- Recurrent: The cancer has returned (recurred) after previous treatment. Treatment can include the following:
- Radiation therapy to control symptoms from the cancer
- Chemotherapy with radiation treatment
- Surgery to remove the tumour
- Laser therapy or internal radiation treatment