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Stages of Lung Cancer

Lung Treatment

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One of the major causes of death worldwide, lung cancer is type of cancer that begins in the lungs. Lung cancer is known to claim more lives each year than prostate, colon, ovarian, and breast cancers combined. Smokers are at the greatest risk of lung cancer, although it can also occur in people who have never smoked. The risk of lung cancer increases with number of cigarettes you have smoked and with the length of time for which you have been a smoker. If you quit smoking, even after years as a smoker, you significantly reduce the chances of developing lung cancer.

There are two main types of lung cancer:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Small cell lung cancer

Both of the lung cancer types have their own system of staging, which determines the extent to which the cancer has spread.

Stages of Lung Cancer

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for a majority of the lung cancer cases. The three main subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer, as described by best lung doctors in Delhi, are as follows:

  • Adenocarcinoma – This type of NSCLC accounts for nearly 40 per cent of lung cancer cases. Adenocarcinoma is usually found in the outer parts of the lungs. It usually grows slower than the other two subtypes.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma – This type of NSCLC accounts for about 25 to 30 per cent of lung cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma grows from the cells that line the lung’s insides and is found at the centre of the lung.
  • Large Cell Carcinoma – Accounts for about 10 – 15 per cent of lung cancers. Large Cell Carcinomas can be found in any part of the lung and usually grows faster than other subtypes.

The NSCLC is usually staged using the TNM classification system by lung specialists in Noida and other NCR areas:

  • T – Tumour size and location
  • N – The number of lymph nodes that have become affected
  • M – Metastasis or how far the cancer has spread

Using the combination of the three, doctors categorize NSCLC into four different stages:

  • Stage 1 – The tumour is in a single lung and has not spread to any lymph nodes or distant organs.
  • Stage 2 – This stage means that the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes inside the lungs, but hasn’t spread to any distant organs.
  • Stage 3 – This stage means that the cancer has spread to lymph nodes at the centre of the chest, but hasn’t spread to distant organs.
  • Stage 4 – In this stage, the cancer has spread throughout the body.

Your lung doctor in Delhi will be able to tell which stage your cancer is at.

Small Cell Lung Cancer

Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) accounts for around 15 per cent of lung cancer cases. The staging system used by the best lung specialist in Delhi breaks down the disease into two categories:

  • Limited Stage – Here, the cancer is only on one side of the chest.
  • Extensive stage – Cancer has spread to the opposite side of the body.

Small Cell Lung Cancer is known to grow and spread quickly, making it difficult to treat.


The symptoms of lung cancer can often be confused for pneumonia and bronchitis. This makes it one of the reasons why lung cancers are at an advanced stage when they are found.  However, the earlier the lung cancer is detected, the better are the chances of survival. You should consult the best lung doctor in Delhi if you have any of these symptoms

  • Persistent cough or coughing up blood or dark coloured phlegm
  • Hoarse voice, chest pain, shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Feeling tired or weak, loss in weight

According to the best lungs doctors in Delhi, new symptoms can arise as the cancer progresses, some of which are:

  • Headaches, seizures, dizziness
  • Jaundice
  • Lumps beneath the skin
  • Back pain, hip pain, or general bone pain

If you have any of these symptoms, a lung specialist in noida or other areas of NCR will conduct a chest X-Ray. If the X-Ray shows signs of a tumour, a CT, MRI, or PET scan will be ordered. The tests will provide more detailed images of the tumour, depending on which, the lung specialist in Delhi will carry out the treatment.

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