Staging Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Staging is the process of finding out if and how far lung cancer has spread. The treatment plan and prognosis depend on the stage of the cancer. A staging system is a standard way for doctors to describe and determine how large a cancer is and how far it has spread. The stage is based on the results of the physical exam, biopsies, and imaging tests.

TNM Staging System

The TNM staging system is one of the most widely used cancer staging systems. For lung carcinoid tumors and non-small cell lung cancer, it is used to describe the:

  • Tumor
  • Nodes (lymph nodes)
  • Metastasis (if the cancer has spread)