Dr. Abraham Chachoua, a doctor who treats patients with lung cancer, explains the different stages of non-small cell lung cancer.
Cancer is classified into stages which are used to describe the size and growth of cancer in the body. Oncologists consider these stages when determining the prognosis and the treatment options for people with cancer, including lung cancer.
Dr. Abraham Chachoua, the Jay and Isabel Fine Professor of Oncology at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, explains that the different stages of cancer apply to non-small cell type lung cancers. Staging non-small cell lung cancer depends on where the tumor is, how big the tumor is, whether the tumor has spread to the lymph nodes or beyond the lymph nodes, and where the lymph nodes are.
There are five stages of lung cancer (I, II, IIIA, IIIB, and IV). Stages I-IIIA are generally treated using surgical procedures whereas stages IIIB and IV are generally treated with non-surgical procedures including chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Some doctors do not use the numbered stages, but prefer a staging classification called the TNM System. TNM stands for Tumor, Nodes (lymph nodes), and Metastasis. These two ways to name the stages really are referring to the same stages but in a different way and they are equally used to determine the prognosis of the cancer patient.
Dr. Chachoua is an oncologist at NYU Langone Health who specializes in treating cancers of the lung and chest.
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Staging is a way for us, as oncologists,
to try and understand a little bit about
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the prognosis, try and understand
a little bit about the treatment options.
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This discussion is all
about non-small cell,
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small cell is a little bit
of a different thinking.
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So in simple terms,
it relates where the tumor is in the lung.
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How big the tumor is, whether the tumor
has spread to the lymph nodes, or
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whether it's spread beyond the lymph
nodes and where the lymph nodes are.
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We talk about five stages, really.
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I, II, IIIA, IIIB, and IV.
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I, II, IIIA, surgical diseases right,
with some tweaking.
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IIIB and IV, not surgical diseases,
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it's chemotherapy, revision therapy what
have you, and that's the main difference.
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Quite often, people don't use stage I,
II, IIIA, IIIB, IV,
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they use what's called the T and M stage,
so it's a little bit more confusing.
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T refers to the size of the tumor,
the M stands for
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lymph nodes and nodes,
M reflects metastasis.
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So TNM or stage one, two, three, four.
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So they can both kind of
say the same thing, but
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you say it a little bit differently.
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So it's a tool for us to kind of
figure out how we're going to treat.
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it does have prognostic implications.
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