The stage of a tumor refers to the extent to which lung cancer has spread in the body. Staging involves both evaluation of a tumor's size, as well as the presence or absence of metastases, or the spreading of the cancer, in the lymph nodes or in other organs. Staging is important for determining how a particular tumor should be treated. Staging of a tumor is also critical in estimating the prognosis of a given patient, with higher-stage tumors having a worse prognosis than lower-stage tumors.
Doctors use several tests to accurately stage lung cancer, including blood tests, X-rays, CT scans, bone scans, and PET scans. An abnormal blood chemistry test may signal the presence of metastases in the bone or liver. Radiological procedures document the size of a tumor, as well as its spread to other organs.
The best thing you can do is to not smoke and to avoid other people's smoke. Doing this will also help cut your chances of developing heart disease and many other serious conditions.
Breaking the cigarette habit isn't easy, but it's possible. It often takes more than one attempt to quit for good. Keep at it, and ask your doctor what would help you reach your goal. You may also want to join a support group or a quit-smoking program.
When you're getting ready to quit, you can try to cut back on...