Module 3. Diagnosis and Staging of Lung Cancer

What is staging for lung cancer and how is it determined?

The treatment of any type of lung cancer depends on the stage of the cancer. The stage is based on how far the cancer has spread - whether the lung cancer is local or has spread outside the lungs to the lymph nodes or to other parts of the body. For non-small cell lung cancer, doctors want to determine the size of the primary cancer and whether it has spread to the lymph nodes or spread to the middle part of the chest, or spread outside those areas. Doctors use different diagnostic tests to determine the cancer’s stage. These tests include CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET) scans. If undergoing surgery, a procedure called a “mediastinoscopy” can provide additional information on the stage of the lung cancer. Knowing the lung cancer stage helps the doctor to decide what kind of treatment is best and can help predict a patient’s prognosis (outlook).

  • Share with family and friends:

Click here to take our Lung Cancer SURVEY
Your feedback is important to us! We will use your feedback to develop future areas of content about lung cancer which will help other patients, caregivers and families.

Please rate this content:
Animation - Diagnosis and Screening of Lung Cancer
1. Animation - Diagnosis and Screening of Lung Cancer
Slide Show - Diagnosis and Screening of Lung Cancer
2. Slide Show - Diagnosis and Screening of Lung Cancer
Animation - Staging of Lung Cancer
3. Animation - Staging of Lung Cancer
Slide Show - Staging of Lung Cancer
4. Slide Show - Staging of Lung Cancer

Expert Videos

How is NSCLC diagnosed?
5. How is NSCLC diagnosed?
How is SCLC diagnosed?
6. How is SCLC diagnosed?
What is screening for lung cancer?
7. What is screening for lung cancer?
What is staging for lung cancer and how is it determined?
8. What is staging for lung cancer and how is it determined?
What is stage I, II, III or IV lung cancer?
9. What is stage I, II, III or IV lung cancer?
If someone with lung cancer has very poor lung function, what should they be aware of?
10. If someone with lung cancer has very poor lung function, what should they be aware of?
What does it mean if a patient has “metastatic lung cancer”?
11. What does it mean if a patient has “metastatic lung cancer”?
What is “multi-focal lung cancer”?
12. What is “multi-focal lung cancer”?
What is “bronchoscopic ablation”?
13. What is “bronchoscopic ablation”?
What kind of healthcare team is a lung cancer patient likely to see?
14. What kind of healthcare team is a lung cancer patient likely to see?
What does pulmonary lung function mean and how is it tested?
15. What does pulmonary lung function mean and how is it tested?
What is a lung biopsy?
16. What is a lung biopsy?

This educational activity has been developed by
A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation and Mechanisms in Medicine Inc.

This activity is supported by an independent educational grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Inc., and a Celgene Patient Advocacy Sponsorship.

This website is part of the Animated Patient™ series developed by Mechanisms in Medicine Inc., to provide highly visual formats of learning for patients to improve their understanding, make informed decisions, and partner with their health care professionals for optimal outcomes.