Stage 1 Non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

What is stage 1 non small cell lung cancer?

Stage 1 lung cancer means that the cancer is small and has not spread to distant areas or nearby lymph nodes. Stage 1 cancer is also further divided into stage 1a and stage 1b.

Visual representation of lungs

Stage 1a

At stage 1a the cancer does not affect the bronchi and has not spread to lymph nodes or distant areas. At stage 1a the diagnosis is based on the following TNM categories:

  • T1A/T1b: The tumor is diagnosed as T1a if it is 2cm or smaller in size and it is T1b if the tumor is larger than 2cm but smaller than 3cm in size.
  • N0: The cancer has not spread to nearby lymph nodes
  • M0: The cancer has not spread to distant areas or other parts of the body

Stage 1b

At stage 1b the tumor is larger than 3 cms but smaller than 5 cms and one or more of the features listed below is present:

  • It has spread into the bronchi and the thin serous membranes known as the visceral pleura that surround the lungs.
  • At this stage the lung has also partially collapsed or developed an inflammation in the carina, which is a cartilaginous ridged area that separates the opening if the right and left main bronchi stems.

At stage 1b the diagnosis is based on the following TNM categories:

  • T2A: If the tumor is larger than 3 cms but smaller than 5 cms, it is classified as T2A.
  • N0: The cancer has not spread to nearby lymph nodes
  • M0: The cancer has not spread to distant areas or other parts of the body

Read in detail about the screening systems for lung cancer

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