Stage Iv Lung Cancer

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Stage IV lung cancer refers to the end stage of non small cell lung cancer. This is comparable to the extensive stage of small cell lung cancer, which is so aggressive it only has two stages. Unfortunately, small cell is so fast-growing it is almost always diagnosed in this advanced stage. Non small cell, however, can be caught in the early stages, although when there are no dramatic symptoms, a correct diagnosis may not be made until stage III.

Stages I and II may be successfully treated with surgical removal of the tumor, most often with a technique called a lobectomy. The diseased lobe of the lung is removed in hopes that the entire tumor can be excised. Recently, studies show clearly that chemotherapy used after the surgery increases survival rates, so this combination will become the treatment of choice in the future.

Stage IV Lung Cancer Survival

Unless lung cancer is found in the early stages, non small cell lung cancer treatments consist of radiation and/or chemotherapy. Mainstream treatment for inoperable lung cancer is limited to these two options, although in integrative medicine, alternative therapies may be incorporated to relieve symptoms and side effects. Stage IV lung cancer is terminal, with a five-year survival rate of less than one percent.

Even in the advanced phases of stage III, the five-year survival rate is less than five percent. In the early phase of stage III, the rate is still only 10-20 percent. Treatment of stage IV lung cancer is largely confined to alleviating symptoms and trying to the make the patient more comfortable.


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