Lung cancer is when cancerous growth is detected in either one or both your lungs. Staging is done to assess the impact of lung cancer on the body. It helps the doctors to foresee the possible outlook for a person who has lung cancer and helps them to make the best treatment plan for the patient.
In this article, you will find out what is stage 2 lung cancer, types of lung cancer, it’s symptoms and treatment.
Read on to know more about this frightful disease!
What are the different types of lung cancer?
Making an effective treatment plan for lung cancer begins with staging or determining the types of lung cancer. The two main types of lung cancer include non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
The stage of lung cancer is determined by several factors which include:
- The size and magnitude of the tumour.
- If cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
- If cancer has spread to other distant organs.
The lungs are large so the tumours can grow inside them for a long time before the lung cancer is diagnosed. The symptoms are usually coughing and fatigue, so most people mistake it for other health conditions, due to which it becomes difficult in assessing even the first stage of cancer.
Also read: All You Need To Know About Lung Cancer!
Stage 2 lung cancer or Non-small cell lung cancer
Stage 2 lung cancer or Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer refers to cancer that may have spread from the lungs to the nearby lymph nodes. About 85℅ of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC). Stage 2 Lung Cancer happens when your doctor finds one or more tumours in one lung but it hasn’t reached the distant places like bones and other organs. Depending on the size of the tumour and the place of any affected lymph nodes, cancer can be either regional or localised. Doctors may remove stage 2 cancer with surgery.
Stage 2 lung cancer has a staging process which is used to categorize the intensity of the disease. The criteria are on which the evaluation of this stage happens is called TNM which stands for:
- Tumour’s size and extent (T)
- Whether lymph nodes have cancer cells (N)
- Metastasis (M)
Stage 2 lung cancer or Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer is subdivided into two categories:
Stage 2A lung cancer
In this stage, the doctor diagnoses cancer only in your lung. The tumour is bigger than 4 cm but not larger than 5 cm. It also has grown into an airway (bronchus) or tissues surrounding the lungs. However, the lymph nodes are not affected, no metastasis and part of all of your lungs have collapsed. The lung gets inflamed.
Stage 2B lung cancer
This is the next level or advanced phase of lung cancer. The tumour may not be bigger than but cancer may have reached the lymph nodes or the airway. Your tumour size may have grown larger than 5 cm to 7cm or you may have one tumour in the same area of your lung as your main tumour. Cancer might have reached the chest wall or, its membrane, nerves connected to the diaphragm.
Symptoms of stage 2 lung cancer
The diagnosis of lung cancer is not carried out until it is in stage 2. Before stage 2, you may not notice lung cancer symptoms. You may not notice or experience lung cancer symptoms until it grows fast or gets severe. Stage 1 lung cancer symptoms are similar to stage 2 lung cancer.
Here are some common lung cancer symptoms:
- Coughing, bronchitis or pneumonia which is severe and persistent
- Sudden weight loss
- Chest pain which worsens while laughing or breathing deeply
- Coughing blood or phlegm
- Shortness of breath
- A harsh or rough voice
- Fatigue or tiredness
Lung cancer treatment
Treatment plans are dependent on the stage the cancer was detected or diagnosed. If lung cancer is at stage 2 and is present only in the lung, then surgery might be the recommended alternative. However, it is dependent on the patient’s condition. If the cancer is on the lymph nodes, the doctor may or may not suggest surgery.
Before surgery, you might need other treatments like:
- Chemotherapy: This includes the usage of drugs which helps in shrinking the tumour before surgery and to kill any cancer cells which are left after the surgery.
- Radiation: it includes using a machine to beam high energy waves at the cancer cells. It is a good option if surgery is not meant for you.
Survival rates based on TNM stage or stage 2 lung cancer is the approach which matches stage to the survival. Experts talk about the 5-year survival rates. It refers to the probability of the person surviving for 5 years after the diagnosis of lung cancer compared to someone who does not have cancer. The following stages are used to estimate the chances of surviving 5 years or more after the detection of the small cell or non-small cell lung cancer:
- Localised: Cancer is limited to one part of the body or no cancer is detected outside the lung.
- Regional: Cancer has started to spread to the nearby tissues or lymph nodes.
- Distant: Cancer has spread to distant organs or throughout the body.
There can be many factors that affect survival rates. It can vary from person to person, some are modifiable and some are not. The factors include age, sex, performance status, smoking status, type of lung cancer and type of surgery.
While there is no actual way of preventing lung cancer, eating a healthy diet and doing physical activity regularly may reduce the risk of developing lung cancer. If you have a history of smoking, quitting can enhance the chances of not developing lung cancer.