When attempting to understand the 4 stages of lung cancer, many patients want to know what they can expect during the course of their treatment, and the physical changes that might take place within their bodies. The stage of a cancer indicates the extent to which the presence of lung cancer has moved throughout the body, and staging can involve both a careful consideration of the size of the tumor, as well as the presence of spreading cancer in the lymph nodes and surrounding organs.
Understanding the 4 stages of lung cancer is important for knowing how a cancer should be treated. What's more, staging can help to determine the prognosis that is given for any given patient, with cancers at a higher stage generally having a worse prognosis than those at a lower stage.
The 4 Stages of Lung Cancer:
The four stages of lung cancer are all very different. For example:
– During stage 1, the cancer is confined to the lung itself.
– Within stages two and three, the cancer can be confined in the lungs, and the surrounding lymph nodes.
– At stage four, the cancer may have spread further beyond the lung and into different parts of the body.
When it comes to figuring out what you should expect from the stages of lung cancer, most people are concerned about the final stages of this disease, and the physical changes it can have on their body. Coming to terms with your illness can be very difficult, and it's important to remember that many people are different. Some will suffer from pain while others won't, and some will require oxygen to help with shortness of breath, whereas others will be able to breath comfortably.
Certain patients' health will decline very rapidly during the late stages of lung cancer, while others continue to live on despite the odds.
The Physical Changes You Can Expect:
The physical changes that take place during the final stages of lung cancer are often related to the presence of the tumor in the lungs and the spread of the cancer to various other parts of the body. In the last stage of lung cancer, the treatment options will have been exhausted, meaning that a cure for the disease is no longer possible. However, palliative treatments designed to minimize symptoms can still improve comfort.
The last stages of lung cancer can cause physical changes that include:
– The buildup of fluid around the lungs
– The obstruction of the airways
– Symptoms of brain metastases, such as headaches and seizures
– Symptoms of terminal cancer, such as fatigue and weight loss
The important thing to remember is that many of the symptoms that are associated with late stage lung cancer can be managed through a range of treatment solutions. Many people find that they can maintain a reasonably good quality of life despite the typical symptoms that are involved with this disease.
The best option is to speak to your doctor about your concerns and you may find that he or she can put your mind at rest about your prognosis.