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How is the TNM system used to stage non-small cell lung cancer?

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The most common way to stage your non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumor is by using the TNM (tumor, node involvement, metastasis) system with the numbers X, 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 after each letter. These number and letter combinations describe:

  • Your tumor’s width measured in centimeters, or if it’s too tiny to be measured at all
  • Where your tumor is located in your lung
  • If there’s more than one tumor in the same lung
  • If your airways are partly blocked or clogged enough to cause a lung collapse or pneumonia
  • If the tumor has spread to your lymph nodes or other organs

SOURCES:

American Lung Association: “Lung Cancer Staging.”

LungCancer.org: “Types and Staging of Lung Cancer.”

American Cancer Society: “Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Stages.”

American Joint Committee on Cancer: “What Is Cancer Staging?”

Roswell Park Cancer Center: “Tumor Staging.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on June 30, 2017

SOURCES:

American Lung Association: “Lung Cancer Staging.”

LungCancer.org: “Types and Staging of Lung Cancer.”

American Cancer Society: “Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Stages.”

American Joint Committee on Cancer: “What Is Cancer Staging?”

Roswell Park Cancer Center: “Tumor Staging.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on June 30, 2017

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