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Lung Cancer Health Center

Stages of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

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The following stages are used for non-small cell lung cancer: continued...

Stage II

Stage II is divided into stages IIA and IIB:

  • Stage IIA: The tumor is 3 centimeters or smaller and cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes on the same side of the chest as the tumor.
  • Stage IIB:
    • Cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes on the same side of the chest as the tumor and one or more of the following is true:
      • The tumor is larger than 3 centimeters.
      • Cancer has spread to the main bronchus of the lung and is 2 centimeters or more from the carina (where the trachea joins the bronchi).
      • Cancer has spread to the innermost layer of the membrane that covers the lungs.
      • The tumor partly blocks the bronchus or bronchioles and part of the lung has collapsed or developed pneumonitis (inflammation of the lung).

      or

    • Cancer has not spread to lymph nodes and one or more of the following is true:
      • The tumor may be any size and cancer has spread to the chest wall, or the diaphragm, or the pleura between the lungs, or membranes surrounding the heart.
      • Cancer has spread to the main bronchus of the lung and is no more than 2 centimeters from the carina (where the trachea meets the bronchi), but has not spread to the trachea.
      • Cancer blocks the bronchus or bronchioles and the whole lung has collapsed or developed pneumonitis (inflammation of the lung).

Stage IIIA

In stage IIIA, cancer has spread to lymph nodes on the same side of the chest as the tumor. Also:

  • The tumor may be any size.
  • Cancer may have spread to the main bronchus, the chest wall, the diaphragm, the pleura around the lungs, or the membrane around the heart, but has not spread to the trachea.
  • Part or all of the lung may have collapsed or developed pneumonitis (inflammation of the lung).

Stage IIIB

In stage IIIB, the tumor may be any size and may have spread to any of the following:

  • Heart.
  • Major blood vessels that lead to or from the heart.
  • Chest wall.
  • Diaphragm.
  • Trachea.
  • Esophagus.
  • Sternum (chest bone) or backbone.
  • More than one place in the same lobe of the lung.
  • The fluid of the pleural cavity surrounding the lung.

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