Information About Stage Four Lung Cancer

Facts and statistics relating to stage four lung cancer.

Lung cancer, like many cancers, is broken down in stages. These stages are based upon how advanced a patient's cancer is, and is often a key deciding factor in how a patient is treated. Many people use these stages to determine survival rate. That being said, every case is unique and doctors may give a patient a different prognosis than what is normally seen, based on their individual illness.

Symptoms of Stage Four Lung Cancer

The symptoms of  lung cancer often are similar to other common ailments, which can lead to people overlooking or dismissing them. Early symptoms of lung cancer would include having a cough frequently, having a cough that changes for the worse, shortness of breath, fatigue, blood in mucus, pain when breathing or coughing, decrease in appetite and weight loss. More advanced and concerning symptoms would include swelling of the neck, facial swelling, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, voice changes, right side rib pain and joint or bone pain.

Some more rare symptoms of lung cancer would be muscle weakness, confusion, pins and needles in fingers or toes, drowsiness, dizziness and swollen breast in men.  If you suspect you may have lung cancer or you already have lung cancer and you develop new symptoms, it is important you talk about your symptoms with your doctor.

Facts About Lung Cancer

Statistics for the survival of patients diagnosed with stage four lung cancer are not very good. Almost 50% of all non small cell lung cancer patients are diagnosed at stage four. Non small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. Chemotherapy is the most commonly used treatment for people diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. This does not cure their cancer, it is merely used to treat the symptoms that they may be experiencing.

Stage four lung cancer is determined by the fact that the cancer has spread through the lymph nodes and to other tissue and possibly to other organs. It is possible for  stage four cancer to have spread to the brain, liver, adrenal glands, kidneys and often to the bones. With treatment, survival beyond a year for most patients with stage 4 lung cancer is rare. This decreases significantly when a patient is too sick to undergo chemotherapy.

People who smoke are more likely to develop lung cancer and should be more vigilant about having any signs or symptoms of the disease investigated by their physician. Quitting smoking can significantly reduce the likelihood a person will develop lung cancer. Other people at risk for developing lung cancer are people with COPD, people who have been exposed to asbestos and people who have been diagnosed with cancer of any type previously. Although most people diagnosed with lung cancer are over the age of 60, it is essential that people of all ages minimize their risks. Lung cancer is the most deadly cancer, but it is also the most preventable.