Asbestos Cancer Online & Mesothelioma Information Online - 4 Stages of Cancer, Symptoms,

Long asbestos fibre exposure results in several health problems, including lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma cancer

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The 4 Stages of Lung Cancer By Randolph Meresmaa

Lung cancer is a disease that is very hard to cure with conventional medicine. About 80% of all cases of newly diagnosed lung cancer are the non-small cell type (NSCLC). A majority of these patients will
have inoperable disease on the basis of distant metastases or locally advanced disease. For the remaining patients with early stage disease as well as selected patients with locally advanced disease, surgery remains the best hope for cure.

Less than 15% of all patients can presently be expected to be cured of their disease. The changes that a patient has of being cured depends of the stage he/she is at. There are 4 stages of lung cancer and each stages requires different treatments, although none of these treatments unfortunately is very effective. Doctors may use several tests to accurately stage a lung cancer, including laboratory tests, X-rays, CT scans, bone scans, and MRI scans.

The 4 stages of lung cancer are

1) Stage 1 disease - Patients that have this early stage typically have no symptoms and most are cured with primary surgical excision. The tumors are mostly found on a routine chest radiograph. Nowadays many tumors are detected while they are still very small with computed tomography (CT). Morbidity and mortality increase with higher stages of disease and extended resections. The overall five-year survival for patients with completely resected stage I NSCLC is approximately 75%.

2) Stage 2 disease - Patients with T1-2N1 represent a small subset in the spectrum of this disease, usually comprising less than 10% of patients coming to surgery. The overall five-year survival of patients with Stage 2 tumors is approximately 50-60%. In this stage the tumors also start to invade the mediastinal pleura, fat, nerves, and pericardium, but not the major mediastinal vessels or organs.

3) Stage 3 disease - The preffered treatment for for patients in Stage 3 A is complete resection via lobectomy with mediastinal lymph node dissection. Patients with left upper lobe tumors. have the best prognosis of all, with five-year survival rates as high as 42% when completely resected. Computed Tomography (CT) scanning 5 year survival rate is approximately 30% following complete surgical resection. Patients with Stage 3 B are considered inoperable. The five-year survival for patients with
T4 (carina) N0 tumors undergoing tracheal sleeve pneumonectomy has been reported to approach 20%.

4) Stage 4 disease - Surgery for this stage is only limited for young, healthy patients with a solitary site of metastatic disease, and an easily resectable primary tumor contained within the chest. Five-year survival in these patients should approach 20%. Even if a cure is not obtained, survival is prolonged and quality of life improved.

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