Cancer Staging Lung Cancer Using TNM

Doctors indicate the progression of cancers by a system of staging. Cancer staging lung cancer is no different. There is a change cancer staging lung cancer.

The Old

Most are familiar with the system that divides the cancers into stages 1-4. This system is based on how far the cancer has spread.

The New

Starting in 2009 a revised system was introduced that will provide a more complete picture for the doctors. The old system will still be used until the new gains prominence. This will also make it easier for when patients will qualify for hospice and get this care at the earliest possible time.

Numerous cases of Mesothelioma and lung cancers up to stage 4 have been successfully put in remission or as some feel, even cured by boosting glutathione. One of the first was well into her 80's when sent home with stage 4 cancer staging lung cancer. She did die, some 12 years later at age 94 and not of lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the world. The extent of the cancer is determined by staging. According to Chest, a doctors professional journal.... Lung cancer remains the most common cause of cancer deaths in men and women. Staging of lung cancer is critical in defining the anatomic extent of the disease at the time of diagnosis, since it is a guide to treatment and prognosis...

This means it is necessary to take a look beyond just 1 through 4 system of cancer staging lung cancer. The lung cancer could be a limited disease with small cancerous spots contained inside your lungs. The lung cancer could also have spread into the lymph nodes outside the lungs or even into other organs.

Cancer Staging Lung Cancer

The TNM staging system for lung cancer provides a consistent reproducible description of the extent of the size of the primary cancer, if it is in the lymph nodes,and if it has metastasized (spread to other organs).

The break down is as follows....
T = tumor
N = nodes
M = secondary spread or metastases

The T (Tumor) stages for lung cancer are...

T1a – the tumor is only in the lung and is smaller than 2 centimeters across
T1b – the tumor is only in the lung and is between 2 and 3 centimeters across
T2 – the tumor is between 3 and 7 centimeters across
or the growth has extended into the main bronchus more than 2 centimeters below where it divides to go into each lung or
the tumor has grown into the inner lining of the chest cavity called the visceral pleura or
the tumor has grown to the point where part of the lung collapses.

T2 tumors that are 5 centimeters or less are classified as T2a
T2 tumors that are larger than 5 centimeters are T2b.

T3 – the tumor has grown to larger than 7 centimeters
or has grown into the chest wall,
the central lining of the chest cavity (the mediastinal pleura),
the muscle at the bottom of the chest cavity (the diaphragm),
the phrenic nerve, or the outer covering of the heart (the pericardium) or
the tumor has made the whole lung collapse or
there is more than one tumor nodule in the same lobe of the lung.

T4 – the tumor has grown into one of the following structures the area between the lungs in the middle of the chest (the mediastinum)
the heart, a major blood vessel, the trachea (the wind pipe)
the area where the main airway divides to go to each lung, the food pipe (esophagus)
a spinal bone
the nerve that controls the voice box, or there are tumor nodules in more than one lobe of the same lung.

N – Nodes

The N staging for lung cancer are...

N0 – means there is no cancer in any lymph nodes
N1 – there is cancer in the lymph nodes that are nearest the affected lung
N2 – the cancer is in lymph nodes in the middle of the chest
(mediastinum) on the same side as the affected lung or
there is cancer in lymph nodes just under where the wind pipe branches off to each lung

N3 – cancer in the lymph nodes on the other side of the chest than the affected lung or
in the lymph nodes above either collar bone or
in the lymph nodes at the top of the lung

M – Metastases

The M stages for lung cancer are...

M0 – No signs of cancer spread anywhere in the body.

M1a – there are tumors in both lungs or
fluid around the lung (a malignant pleural effusion) or
fluid around the heart (pericardial effusion) that containing cancer cells

M1b – lung cancer cells are present in other parts of the body like the liver or bones.

How the TNM Staging System Works

This may seem like some kind of top secret code. You have the key to the code. Doctors dealing in this field are able to use this code to better treat and help the patient have the best prognosis.

Stage 1 lung cancer

As noted above, it is divided into two groups, 1a and 1b.

So the first TNM staging would be T1a or T1b, N0, M0.
The TNM staging for 1B lung cancer is T2a, N0, M0.

Stage 2 lung cancer is divided into two groups, 2A and 2B.

Stage 2A lung cancer would be classified as...

T1a, N1, M0
T1b, N1, M0
T2a, N1, M0
T2b, N0, M0

Stage 2B lung cancer would be either T2b, N1, M0 or T3, N0, M0

Stage 3 lung cancer becomes more complicated starting with 3A and 3B. With stage 3A lung cancer, you could have any of the following...

T1a, N2, M0
T1b, N2, M0
T2a, N2, M0
T2b, N2, M0
T3, N1, M0
T3, N2, M0
T4, N0, M0
T4, N1, M0

With stage 3B lung cancer, any of the following will be present.

Any T with along with N3, M0

Cancer staging lung cancer is still growing in use. More will be posted when available.

Lung Cancer Survival Rates takes a bit further look at cancer staging lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Glutathione looks at the glutathione connection.

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