Skip to content

    Lung Cancer Health Center

    Select An Article

    Stage IV Lung Cancer With ALK Rearrangement

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    What Is Stage IV Lung Cancer With ALK Rearrangement?

    This type of lung cancer is rare, and people who get it often aren’t smokers. Although there isn't a cure, there are treatments for it that can slow down your cancer and help you feel better.

    "Stage IV" means that the cancer has spread beyond the lung where it started. It may be in your other lung, too, or in the fluid around your lungs, or somewhere else in your body.

    Recommended Related to Lung Cancer

    Lung Cancer Symptoms: What You Should Know

    Lung cancer usually has no symptoms in its early stages. When they start to appear, they can include: Chronic, hacking, raspy coughing, sometimes with mucus that has blood in it Respiratory infections that keep coming back, including bronchitis or pneumonia Shortness of breath that gets worse, wheezing, lasting chest pain Hoarseness Swelling of the neck and face Pain and weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand Fatigue, weakness, loss of weight and appetite, fever that...

    Read the Lung Cancer Symptoms: What You Should Know article > >

    "ALK rearrangement" refers to a gene called ALK. If you have this type of lung cancer, your ALK gene got rearranged and joined with another gene. This causes cancer cells to grow and spread.

    Causes

    Doctors aren't sure what causes this disease. But people who get it tend to be younger than most lung cancer patients. Many people who get it don't smoke and never have.

    Symptoms

    Like other types of lung cancer, the symptoms can include:

    If the cancer spreads to other parts of the body, your symptoms may include:

    Getting a Diagnosis

    First, your doctor will talk with you about what’s been going on and ask questions like these:

    • When did you first notice problems?
    • How have you been feeling?
    • Are you coughing or wheezing?
    • Does anything make your symptoms better or worse?
    • Do you, or did you, smoke?
    • Has anyone in your family had lung cancer?

    To learn more, your doctor may give you tests, including:

    • Blood tests
    • X-rays
    • CT scan : This can show lung problems and swollen arteries.
    • MRI : This scan shows blood flow and can locate cancer growths.
    • PET scan : This imaging test uses radioactive material to look for signs of cancer.
    • Sputum test: It checks for cancer cells in the mucus you cough up.
    • Bronchoscopy : It looks at your airways with an instrument called a bronchoscope.
    • Ultrasound : This test uses sound waves to create a picture of what’s happening inside you.
    • Thoracoscopy: This scan looks at the lungs using a tiny camera.
    1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Xray analysis
    Do you know the myths from the facts?
    chest x-ray
    Get to know them.
     
    woman taking pills
    Tips to managing them.
    Lung cancer xray
    See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
     
    Lung Cancer Risks Myths and Facts
    SLIDESHOW
    Woman getting ct scan
    Article
     
    Improving Lung Cancer Survival Targeted Therapy
    VIDEO
    cancer fighting foods
    Article
     
    Lung Cancer Surprising Differences Between Sexes
    VIDEO
    Pets Improve Your Health
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Vitamin D
    SLIDESHOW
    Lung Cancer Surgery Options
    VIDEO