There are hundreds of thousands of people who are diagnosed with lung cancer everyday. This article provides some information about this medical condition and the staging of the same.
Learning about lung cancer is imperative because this is one of the most prevalent and widespread diseases in the world today. It is said that this disease is the cause of almost 2 million deaths annually on a worldwide basis, and this is truly a staggering figure to comprehend. Most people may be aware that the primary cause is believed to be smoking. However, about 15% of the affected people are non-smokers, and hence there are other genetic and air pollution related causes as well.
Before one delves into the details about its staging, it is important to know more about this medical condition. The stage that the cancer is in can only be ascertained with the help of a detailed medical analysis and this is something that only an experienced medical specialist can carry out. In order to avoid the complications that come in the later stages of the cancer, it is advisable to learn how to recognize the early signs of this medical condition effectively.
What is Lung Cancer?
Like any other cancer, lung cancer also points to a cancerous growth in the afflicted organs. This growth expands over time and causes the organ to malfunction slowly, and it also starts spreading to neighboring parts (metastasis). Thus, a cancer is something that puts the entire human body at risk. The cancerous growth leads to an increase in the number of cells in the area and this ultimately leads to the growth of a tumor, and this is exactly what happens in the case of this disease. It is with the purpose of assessing this damage, that its staging came into the public eye.
There are two types of this medical condition that people are commonly afflicted with. Small cell lung cancer is the type that is caused by smoking, and it can only be treated with the help of surgery. Small cell lung cancer stages are slightly different from the generally talked about stages. On the other hand, non-small cell lung cancer is the less commonly seen type and it can only be treated with the help of radiation and chemotherapy. Non-small cell lung cancer staging can be divided into the 4 standard stages.
Staging of this disease is an important medical field of study, because it helps the doctors determine how far the cancer has grown. Depending on its maturity and severity, the doctor would give a prognosis of the cancer and try to devise a way to combat it. Just like any other medical diagnosis, this medical condition also requires the doctor to first see what stage the cancer has reached. These facts would also help one learn more about this disease.
Staging of Lung Cancer
There are four stages of this medical condition and placing the affected person in one of these stages would help the doctors determine how serious the condition is, and how far the cancer may have spread as mentioned above. There are a number of different tests that the affected person is subjected to before the stage is determined, and these include MRI scans, X-rays, bone scans, CT scans, and various other lab tests. The following staging chart would state more about the same.
|Stages of Lung Cancer||Description||Additional Information|
|Stage I||The cancerous growth is in its early stages and has not spread anywhere. As a result, it can be easily treated with the help of surgery.||
|Stage II||This stage begins when the cancer starts spreading slowly to neighboring parts. The most commonly afflicted areas are the neighboring lymph nodes, the diaphragm, the lining of the lungs, the chest wall, and the outer lining of the heart.||
|Stage III||In this stage the cancer grows even further, and starts affecting the blood vessels connecting the lungs to the heart. Needless to say, this is a highly dangerous stage to find oneself in.||
|Stage IV||This is the worst stage possible, and the fact is that there is no permanent cure when a person is diagnosed in this stage. The cancer has spread to other parts of the body, and the only solution is damage limitation.||
It is important that one gets themselves checked for the same as soon as possible, especially if one is a smoker. One should keep a lookout for the symptoms of this disease in their system and take all the necessary precautions, as living with this condition is very difficult indeed.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.