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.
Don't smoke. Breaking the tobacco habit may be difficult, but it can be done. While preparing to quit, cut back on the number of cigarettes smoked daily. Many people report that stopping cigarette smoking "cold turkey" is more effective than gradually tapering off. Joining a support group may help you maintain the resolve to quit.
If you live or work with smokers, encourage them to quit and ask them not to smoke around you. If there is potential exposure to cancer-causing chemicals at work, take...