Lung cancer continues to be a leading cause of mortality for many Americans. One reason for this is that the disease gives little to no symptoms in its early stages. By the time persons notice that something may be wrong, it’s possible to be diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer. It might be disheartening news but there are still effective treatment options as well as helpful lifestyle changes that can put you on the right track to fighting the disease.
Important Facts About Late-Stage Lung Cancer
With this type of cancer, there are five stages of the disease. To determine the stage of someone’s cancer, doctors typically use what is known as the TNM system. This can be broken down as:
T— the size of the main tumor. The doctor will also assess if the tumor has spread to the nearby organs or tissues.
N — nodes. The doctor will check if there is any evidence of cancer metastasizing to the nearby lymph nodes.
M — metastasis. At this assessment, the doctor will check if cancer has spread to other organs such as the lungs, bones, or brain.
If the tests show that the tumor is large and cancer has spread, it’s likely that you’ll be diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer. Stage 4 is the last tier and it’s broken down into two categories: Stage 4A and Stage 4B. In the former, there are signs that the tumor has reached the lymph nodes as well as areas like the brain, kidney, liver, or heart. In Stage 4B, the tumor has spread through at least one organ that is far from the lung.
There are different options for treating late-stage lung cancer. The combination your doctor chooses will depend on the size and location of the tumor or tumors.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Are You At Risk For Lung Cancer?
The Best Ways To Cope With Late-Stage Lung Cancer
While adhering to your treatment program will be integral to coping with Stage 4 lung cancer, there are certain lifestyle changes that can also help.