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Limited and extensive stage (small cell lung cancer)

Examine what restricted illness and extensive illness means for small cell lung cancer.

The stage of a cancer tells you ways large it’s and whether or not it has unfold. Figuring out the stage helps your physician resolve which treatment you want.

Medical doctors usually use a easy system to stage small cell lung cancer. They could describe your cancer as restricted illness or extensive illness.

Limited illness

Medical doctors describe small cell lung cancer as restricted if the cancer is contained in a single space that may be handled with radiotherapy.

This implies your cancer:

  • is just in a single lung
  • could also be in close by lymph nodes – for instance, within the centre of the chest or above the collar bone

Extensive illness

Extensive illness implies that the cancer has unfold past a single space that may be handled with radiotherapy.

It might need unfold:

  • inside the chest – to the opposite lung or to lymph nodes additional away from the cancer
  • or to different components of your physique

Or there could also be cancer cells within the fluid across the lung (a malignant pleural effusion).

TNM staging system

Generally docs use one other staging system for small cell lung cancer. It’s referred to as the TNM system.

TNM Stages

The TNM staging system stands for Tumour, Node, Metastasis.

  • T describes the dimensions of the tumour
  • N describes whether or not there are any cancer cells within the lymph nodes
  • M describes whether or not the cancer has unfold to a special a part of the physique

Within the TNM staging system restricted illness is identical as any T, any N, M0

Extensive illness is similar as:

  • any T, any N, M1a
  • any T, any N, M1b
  • any T any N, M1c


The stage of your cancer helps your physician to resolve which treatment you want. Treatment additionally will depend on:

  • your sort of cancer (the kind of cells the cancer began in)
  • the place the cancer is
  • different well being situations that you’ve

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