How is non small lung cancer (NSCLC) staged?
Staging of lung cancer is an important process and the stage of the cancer is determined to through tests performed at the time of diagnosis. The stage of cancer can also give out information of how big the tumor is and how far the the cancer has spread. Staging also allows doctors to decide what kind of treatment can be given.
Non-small cell lung cancer uses the TNM system of staging.
Tumor (T): The size of the original tumor is described
Lymph nodes (N): This factor indicates if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes
Metastasis (M): This factor refers to whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
A number or letter is assigned to each factor and as the number increases so does the severity. For example, T1 is a lower score in comparison to T2 and indicates the tumor is of a smaller size. After the TNM system of staging is done, an overall stage is determined.