How advanced is my lung cancer?

Helping someone with cancer

The spread of lung cancer is measured by stage.  When you are first diagnosed with a lung cancer you will have investigations to determine whether the cancer has spread to the lymph glands, blood vessels or other organs.  Lung cancer is 'staged' according to the degree of spread.

There are two main ways of staging lung cancer, the number staging method or the TMN.

Number staging divides lung cancer into four groups:

  • 1. Cancer is localised to one area of the lung
  • 2/3. Cancer has spread into surrounding areas
  • 4. The cancer has spread to other areas of the body

The TNM staging divides the cancer into


The size of the tumour


Whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes


If the tumour has metastasised, or spread to the other lung or parts of the body

The stage of the lung cancer will influence the treatments that will be available.

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