Stage IV lung cancer

Why The Lung Cancer Is Being Staged?

Staging of the cancer is a pretty important thing that needs to be done in order to identify the extent of spread of the tumor to different parts of the body, as well as the size and the lymph node involvement by the tumor.

Determination Of Prognosis And Treatment

On the basis of the staging of a cancer, the prognosis of the patient is determined, as well as the modes of treatment that must be followed to treat the cancer of the patient.

Stages Of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

In order to specify the extent of metastasis and the involvement of the lymph nodes and size of the tumor, we divide the non-small cell lung cancer, which is also termed as NSCLC into four stages.

Stage I: In stage I, the tumor is found only in the lung parenchyma and it is in early stages with small foci of the tumor cells.

Stage II & III: In this stage, the cancer is restricted the chest and chest wall cavity and the tumor is large and more invasive as compared to stage I.

Stage IV: This is the most lethal stage where the lung tumor has been spread to the entire body thus involving different organ systems. The tumor spreads through bloodstream, the lymphatic system or can either spread directly.

What Is Metastasis?

The spread of the cancer from its primary focus to other organs of the body is known as metastasis.

What Are The Most Common Organ System Involvement By Lung Cancer?

The lung cancer spreads to different parts of the body involving different organ systems, which include; brain, liver, adrenal glands, spinal cord and bone. It spreads less commonly to other organ systems of the body.

How Can We Diagnose The Lung Cancer?

Passes Undetected In Early Stages: The lung cancers in their early stages are not detectable and thus it makes it a lethal disorder that just passes by underneath the eyes undetected.

Diagnosis In Later Stages Through Various Techniques: In the later stages of the cancer, it is being diagnosed through normal chest x-rays, bone scans, CT scans and various blood tests and tumor markers. There are other tests, which are also performed that help in diagnosing the lung cancer, which are bone scans, which are done to rule out the metastasis to the bone.

How Is A Bone Scan Performed: Bone scan is done with the use of a radioactive material, which is being injected into the bloodstream and the metastasized cancerous cells then absorb the radioactive material. After some time when the cells have taken up the radioactive material, the scanning is done to trace the radioactive material being absorbed by the bone. The recording of the result is being done side by side as well.

Other Blood Tests Done: There are other blood tests, which are done during stage IV lung cancer, which help to find out the presence of metastases. The increased level of calcium in blood points towards the presence of metastases in the bone. There is also enzyme elevation because of tumor. The enzymes, which are elevated include aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase, which indicate the presence of metastases in the liver. Therefore the spread of the cancer to the bones and liver can be assessed through the blood tests, which are mentioned above.

Treatment Of Lung Cancer

First And Foremost Step: The first and the foremost step to treat the cancer is to stop the development of the cancerous cells and after that comes the process of treating them or removing them.

Treating With Radiotherapy: In order to prevent the cancer cells to spread to the brain, the patients are being given radiotherapy to the brain. This process is being totally managed by the radiation oncologist.

Getting A Consent Before Radiotherapy: The process of radiotherapy has side effects, therefore before the brain is being exposed to radiation the doctor needs to explain all the details regarding the radiation therapy and then to get a signed consent from the patients.

Combined Therapy Treatments: Depending on the area of spread the doctors make decision whether they are going to give radiation alone or they are going to combine it with chemotherapy. Radiotherapy can be combined with chemotherapy when treating the Stage IV lung cancer if it is confined to the chest wall, diaphragm and lymph nodes.

Surgery: Depending on the extent and approach and the prognosis, the surgeons make their decision regarding conducting the surgery during the Stage IV lung cancer.

Clinical Trials: There are clinical trials available of new treatments that can help treat the lung cancer. One such process or mode is known as photodynamic therapy. The photodynamic therapy is used in the patients having small cell lung cancer as it causes airway obstruction.

Consult Your Doctor: You must consult your doctor to ask for new approaches and clinical trials that are available to treat the lung cancer.


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